The stone that faces the Gods in an act of defiance in EOS has been a project that has been something of a labour of love. The forge was lit over a decade ago with the concepts that form “The Great Ascension” being crafted long before the recording sessions began. Those sessions didn’t begin until 2014 and were not completed until 2018 with the Black Metal trio each working on a multitude of other projects while still keeping this one on the back burner. The wait is finally over, the nightmarish visions painted in blood in uncompromising fashion are finally upon us.
The title track of “The Great Ascension” is a fine place to start an album that consists of seven songs of bone crushing intensity, oppressive dark atmospheres and an insatiable bloodlust. The spitting, snarling and venomus vocals of a man on his knees, screaming at the Gods for release in Death to end his suffering are a glorious torture, while the quality of the music is as far removed from the raw side of Black Metal as you can get. While there is plenty of time for those jagged abrasions, the quality of this recording lends itself to greater depth and texture when it comes down to brass tacks. That becomes clear with “Valkyrie“, which has vibrant and bold Black Metal riffs that soar sweetly on the four winds of the apocalypse while the mental anguished vocals play out and create a tormented undercurrent. There is a majesty within this that should be cherished and raising a Goblet is utterly appropriate. Depicting a tale of a test of one’s own self worth and self respect “Armor Propre” is nothing short of savage and places EOS firmly on the same page as Black Metal royalty, should they ever take this project to the stage. They would make great touring partners for Imperial Triumphant should that opportunity ever arise.
The cold winds of the Nordic influence are felt in “Drugar“, a tale of a companion, friend or comrade with restless and relentless drumming and brilliantly vibrant guitar work. The solo soars above the clouds as it stretches out before continuing into “Momento Mori“. The internal fire isn’t just lit with this one, it’s burning to the point of self immolation, such are the throat splitting vocals that eminate from the mind of the insane in cathartic fashion. Shifting to more of a Blackened Thrash style with the opening of “Black Winter Bloodbath” is an interesting move with some glorious whammy bar drops before roaring off with relentless blast beats as the throttle is let out for a piece of intensity that knows no bounds. The same can be said of the final onslaught that is “Illumination And Will“, a triumphant whirlwind that builds patiently over six and a half minutes before a crescendo of release as the longest cut on the record. The continuity between the songs is there for all to hear, as if the album was recorded in a two week stretch, let alone the four year prison sentence it took in reality. There is no aging in the vocals, no change in the guitar tones that would point the finger at it, the album is a single piece of brilliance, a portrait in black rather than a collection of songs [8/10]
The Great Ascension
Black Winter Bloodbath
Illumination And Will
“The Great Ascension” by EOS is out 18th December via Brilliant Emperor Records with pre-orders available over at bandcamp