Released: 2001, Metal Blade
Since we are on the verge of Eidolon’s upcoming 5th release, COMA NATION anyday now, I thought I would reintroduce the band via a quick review of their 4th CD.
I’ll be honest…HALLOWED is my least favorite Eidolon CD. To me this is the dark horse of their totally solid catalogue. That is not to say it is a bad CD by nay means but it doesn’t have the invigorating impact of the first three.
HALLOWED was their second on Metal Blade and there admittedly were label troubles. I personally felt Metal Blade did a lousy job promoting and supporting Nightmare World. I could be reading into this but the result of perhaps some unhappiness with departed singer, Brian Soulard, uncertainty of Shawn’s involvement with King Diamond, label pressure who knows, but the result musically was a very dark, mid-tempo CD. Many people like that, that’s great, you will love this CD, but I felt the song writing was…depressed. I explain in a minute.
For those of you who are unlucky and have not heard Eidolon, they are (in my mind) Canada’s hidden power metal gem. They easily rank with other North American peers like Steel Prophet, Jag Panzer and the like,…namely kick-ass true heavy metal. Not thrash, not death - just pure METAL!
OK. HALLOWED APPARITION is a very dark ,somber CD while still retaining lots and lots of heaviness. In fact in terms of song-structure and riffs, it is probably their heaviest and consequently slowest. There is an almost dirge like quality to the songs that seems to scream, “C’mon, crank it up! ‘Let’s GO!!” but unfortunately never really do. Opening track De-Evolution never really hits it’s stride like Nightmare World did. A good metal CD needs a fast powerful song to start the party and unfortunately that song was not it. In fact, it is not until track six, Prelude to Fear that the band really seem to hit their stride. The songs while heavy were not dynamic. The whole CD was mid-tempo, never really fast or slow just crushing along but with a sense of underwhelming power, waiting to breakout, but quite does.
This might seem like a negative review and really is not because this band is creating music of a caliber that is world-class. It takes time and dedication to really appreciate this CD as there are indeed some dark, complex, rhythms present. Maybe I’ve been listening to too many happy Helloween clones lately?! There are touches of acoustic guitar, the occasional drum-driven intro…with lots of double bass that drive the songs but in a very controlled and mid-tempo fashion. I would have like to seen the band cut loose, but as the creators maybe they were not in a “cut loose and shred” frame of mind. Who am I to judge? The production is good, the packaging is good, lyrics, credits, pictures but all of it is dark , continuing the them started on NIGHTMARE WORLD.
All reports indicate that COMA NATION will be heavier, faster and the vocal performance by new singer, has added new range and power to the band. I don’t want to rub salt in old wounds but I believe the band recruited when they felt that maybe Soulard just could not take them to the level they deserve. Time will tell.