Released: 2002, Raven Music
Eternal Gray traces its roots back to the Israeli band Betrayer. Many of the members were “fill-ins” for Betrayer and when Betrayer ended their journey in 2001 some of them continued on in Eternal Gray. The band have a top notch sounding album since they went through the expense of flying to Sweden to record at renowned Abyss studios, with Tommy Tägtgren as sound engineer. The style of metal that Eternal Gray plays is death metal. I know that I am not a guru when it comes to death metal and I am very selective when it comes to what death metal I listen to. I told as much to Eternal Gray’s Dory Bar-Or (Guitars & Keyboards) when he said he was sending me the album to review. I originally thought that I’d end up passing this CD along to one of the writers here at Metal Rules who have a stronger penchant for brutality. However, Dory hoped that I’d cover it as he thought I’d like the album based on the death metal I do like….and guess what? He was right, this CD fucking rips!! From beginning to end this is one hell of a furious blast of death metal.
Eternal Gray is death metal, and no, not melodic death metal such as Soilwork or older In Flames. They do have plenty of melody, but they don’t fit in with the Gothenburg crowd at all. They are also not totally like anyone in the once popular Florida death metal scene. They have taken some elements from each of these styles to create their own version death metal. I personally hear some references in the music to Death (later day), Monstrosity, At The Gates, Sepultura (older), Morbid Angel, and even some of the heavier aspects of Nevermore can be found. The album’s opening track “Sins In The Process of Creation” is my favorite on the album. From the fade in churning of the guitars to this tracks closing notes, this song grabbed my attention. In the second track, “Flesh Cycles”, at the 2-minute mark enters a very nice thrasy Sepultura-ish moment accompanied by a solo that sounds like old Sepultura. The song isn’t all like that as it nears black metal intensity for a bit with the tremelo picked riffing and screamed vocals. “Absent Mourn” begins with some first-rate melodic lead guitar followed by technical and busy riffing not far removed from some of the more technical moments of Nevermore’s POLITICS OF ECSTASY. The vocals are what hold this back a little. If singer Eyal Glottman were able to throw in some clean singing in places like this, the sky would be the limit. Well that’s how I see it with my own personal tastes in metal. Death metal purists would probably rather have none of that enter into the death metal mixture. However, it’s not ONLY the vocals that make death metal. It’s a main defining factor, but so is the riffing, drums etc. If there was some clean vocal melody here, I don’t think it would make the band non-death metal, just something even more adventurous. The heaviness is again picked up on “Inflicting Pain” with killer blast beat sections, clean guitar parts, melodic lead soloing, etc. - lots of substance in here. “War On Chaos” contains what is perhaps my favorite guitar leads on the CD. It’s not wankery in case you’re wondering. It’s well played, and well chosen notes that are not just shred but well constructed and thought out leads. “There Lays Nothing” is one of the weaker tracks, but it’s still decent. “The Unbelievers Die” starts out with an acoustic guitar playing a slightly Middle Eastern sounding rhythm. This is then picked up by the electric guitars and becomes 1000 times heavier. When the drumming comes in I was reminded of some of the intense moments on Death’s THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE for a bit. The album’s closing track, “World of Ice” had a better “intro” and “outro” (listed as two separate songs even though they are short) than the song is itself. Again, nothing bad, just not as brilliant as some of the other parts of the album.
I highly recommend Eternal Gray to fans of death metal bands that are not just about being 100% brutal but temper their sound with excellent lead guitar playing, melody, and overall just well written and catchy death metal. If you like bands such as Death, Monstrosity, Deicide, and Nevermore then I am willing to bet you’re gonna love Eternal Gray.