Aeternam – Heir of the Rising Sun (Review)

Aeternam - Heir of the Rising SunThis is the fifth album from Canadian symphonic death metal band Aeternam.

Aeternam play a form of orchestral death metal that takes in Middle Eastern folk influences. If you’re a fan of the type of individual approach that bands such as Arallu, Melechesh, Orphaned Land, Septicflesh, Rudra, and Nile bring to extreme metal, then Aeternam is definitely an album you should check out.

The band’s core death metal assault is brutal and heavy, but also expressive. It’s propelled by rhythmic aggression and meaty riffs, and laced with feeling and melody. Embedded into this are a variety of Middle Eastern folk instruments, sounds, and themes, all enriching the music’s breadth and depth. Artfully cloaked around all of the above is luscious orchestration, bringing layers of textured feeling to the music.

The songs are well-written and professionally delivered. A variety of vocals – including death growls, clean singing, choir-enhanced passages, and guest singers – augment the music’s strong foundation, and everything comes together seemingly effortlessly across the album’s 47 minutes.

Heir of the Rising Sun is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Aeternam strike me, loosely, as a cross between Orphaned Land and Fleshgod Apocalypse, yet with a personality of their own that successfully differentiates themselves from the output of other ostensibly similar artists.

This is a highly polished work that still has a beating, emotive heart. Heir of the Rising Sun is epic and engaging, and Aeternam clearly know what they’re doing with their art.

Very highly recommended.

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