As we did a short while ago with Shabti, let’s get questions of pedigree out of the way quickly so we can move onto the music itself. Eternity’s End, a furious prog/power generator, is made up of (deep breath): Iuri Sanson (from the excellent, if lesser known, Hibria in his past), Christian Muenzner (ex-Obscura, ex-Spawn of Possession, Alkaloid and many, many more), Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilist, Equipoise, First Fragment), Jimmy Pitts (ex-Scholomance, NYN, Equipoise and a million other guest spots and solos), Mike LePond (from genre setters Symphony X and holy crap so many more projects) and one Hannes Grossmann (Alkaloid, Blotted Science, ex-Obscura, Howling Sycamore and on and on and on). A whole god damn paragraph, just to chart the sheer talent brought to bear on Eternity’s End. But the question is, does that convergence make for good music?
The answer is “you’re god damn right it does”. The project’s second album, Unyielding, is a pure festival for fans of prog-power. While it does channel more melodic ensembles like Pagan’s Mind (on the more ballad-like “Horizonless”, for example) it mostly digs into the genre even deeper, conjuring up a breakneck pace of unisons, solos, and high pitched screeches. That latter characteristic probably deserves our first and primary attention; Sanson, put simply, absolutely smashes expectation, delivering an absurdly over the top performance that was the only way possible for him to contend with the sheer level of instrumentality on this album. And contend he does; his performance, even amidst all those notes, stands out brilliantly. Admittedly, you have to be a fan of the genre to appreciate his register and its manifestation on this album but this is true of pretty much everything else on it as well.
You see, Eternity’s End isn’t bothered with wasting time on this release. They know exactly what kind of metal they want to play, namely incredibly fast, impossibly layered, and often cheesy in a celebratory way kind of music and they set about doing just that. Take “Cyclopean Force” for example, the second track on the album. Right out the gate it overwhelms the listener with its distinct guitar riff, packed to the brim on the back-end with Pitts’ electronic contribution. From there, it constantly ducks and weaves around several verses and choruses, of course leaving a sizable chunk at the middle for several guitar and keyboard solos, seemingly in competition as to who can play more notes and still make things feel cohesive. That’s when it hits you that you’re listening to not one but two of the best guitarists out there today, with one of best the keyboard players added on to just for fun.
And that’s the thing about Unyielding; it’s a super group to end super groups, chocolate cake with a mountain of whipped cream on top. It uses that truly mind-blowing amount of sugar to ferry over themes like personal confidence alongside science fiction stories but the medium is very much the message here. If you’re not ready for an onslaught of metal which throws all caution to the wind and laughs in the face of any potential cynic, then this album might not be for you. But of you’re looking to immerse yourself in a whirling, light-speed, unapologetic piece of power metal, then look no further. It’s unlikely anything will match this release in the genre, both in ambition and in execution.
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Unyielding was released on March 22nd. You can grab it by heading over to the band’s Bandcamp page above.