The Eternal - _The Sombre Light of Isolation_
(Firebox, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
This debut album from Melbourne's The Eternal arrives in the wake of three full length albums and two EPs released by pretty much the same people under the guise of Cryptal Darkness -- a name which they apparently abandoned due to line-up and label problems. Indeed, the music created by this Australian quintet for their debut as The Eternal betrays a good amount of past experience, with its considerably high level of composition, arrangements and execution.

The music on _The Sombre Light of Isolation_ tends to come across as quite mature, but on the other hand it suffers from trying to integrate more elements than might have been advisable, and also possibly trying to please too wide a spectrum of listeners. As a result, while most of the album will appeal to those into melodic doom, they will also find a considerable component of Nevermore-like heavy metal and even plenty of what is pretty much gothic rock thrown into the mixture at times. This results in more variety than usual for a doom album, but also in some clash of styles and consequently the loss of some of the all-important atmosphere every doom album should possess.

_The Sombre Light of Isolation_ is still an accomplished album in spite of a few lengthy lukewarm passages, though with all that's been thrown into it and clocking in at over an hour, it may be a lot to digest. One remains with several memorable moments sprinkled around the album and a generally agreeable listen, but not really a disc that most people will enjoy from start to finish and keep going back to. If you happen to like all the sub-genres mentioned in the review, however, The Eternal seem quite apt at all of them and there should be nothing to stop _The Sombre Light of Isolation_ from becoming a worthwhile addition to your collection.


(article published 25/5/2004)

4/15/2009 P Azevedo 6.5 The Eternal - Kartika
9/2/2005 P Azevedo 6 The Eternal - Sleep of Reason
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