Eremit – Bearer of Many Names (Review)

Eremit - Bearer of Many NamesEremit are a doom/sludge band from Germany and this is their second album.

I loved 2019’s Carrier of Weight, and ever since I’ve been really excited every time I see that that band have unleashed more of their crushing doom on the world. Up until now, this has only consisted of 2020’s excellent, (though far too brief), EP Desert of Ghouls. Now, however, we get Bearer of Many Names, which is every bit as massive as the band’s debut album, although it’s resolutely not the same beast.

Across 66 minutes Eremit once again show why they are the absolute masters of abrasive, yet mood-building doom sludge.

The band haven’t merely repeated what they have done previously, however. Bearer of Many Names is less immediate than its predecessor; more atmospheric and emotive in scope. There is less groove and humungous riffs, and more atmosphere and even melody. One of the results of this is a much more blackened feel to parts of the music, which works really well. The primary goal of Bearer of Many Names is that of atmosphere, achieved through the creation of colossal soundscapes that can be as imposing as they are effective.

Eremit operate in multiple speeds and use these to heighten the listener’s engagement with the music. While most of the songs consist of various degrees of SLOOOOW, Eremit are not above unleashing devastating rhythmic grooves and blistering blackened blasting when required. This is a heavy, heavy, heavy band, and their music is not for those uninitiated in the ways of extreme doom and sludge.

Bearer of Many Names is an album that takes its time, unfolding itself with unhurried intensity. That last word is important in Eremit’s world; although aspects like atmosphere and mood have been emphasised so far, this should be understood within the context of Eremit’s harsh sound. Even words like unhurried can be misleading, as here that means from an overall compositional viewpoint; the band know very well where they’re going with their material, and have no need to rush. Music like this is as inevitable as it is inexorable.

I’d say that Bearer of Many Names is probably even more of an essential listen than the rest of the band’s exemplary back catalogue. If you’re a fan of this sort of crushing, long-form doom, then this is an absolute must.

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