The Eternal Dance is the second full-length release of Dutch six-piece Facade. In keeping with its cover art, the album takes a focus on the life-death cycles of the Hindu goddess Kali. The band explore this life-death cycle through a series of 5 lengthy and doomy movements.
More specifically, Facade have chosen to approach all this through the harsher side of doom metal. They take some cues from fellow death-doom merchants like Novembers Doom and Draconian, grounding their sound in a core of melancholy melodies accentuated with rougher touches. The vocals are consistently harsh, straying at times into black metal snarls and death metal gurgles. It serves to make the vocals more of an accent than a focal point. Behind it all is an admirable ability to take a pretty straightforward melody or riff and craft it into something very evocative.
However, this ability needs to be put to better use for a more enjoyable outcome. As it stands, the tracks have a tendency to go on for too long or occasionally blur together. “Death” for instance has a good ending that’s built-up nicely, simply doesn’t need to be as long as it is and takes too long to arrive at that pay-off. It also feels very similar to the preceding track, “Ego”, which does a better job overall of creating a turgid, swampy atmosphere, as if the listener is trying to escape a swamp and the bursts of more aggressive parts are desperate struggles.
There are definitely some highlights here and there. The gentle mid-section of the aforementioned “Ego” is a change of pace that fits in perfectly, and there are blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bits of more aggressive drumming sprinkled in here and there. Closing track “Moksha” opens with an effective quoted passage, end closes on a drifting, ethereal second half, all in all feeling like a good way to wrap things up. But as a whole, the album could benefit greatly from more variety or more succinct tracks.