The Eternal - _Kartika_
(Firebox, 2009)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6.5 out of 10)
Having remarked that The Eternal toyed with some interesting doom metal ideas on _The Sombre Light of Isolation_ and _Sleep of Reason_ only to lose the plot stylistically and end up with inconsistent records, my expectations for _Kartika_ were not helped by their website describing the new record as the band's "most diverse and ambitious" to date. While they have shown signs of quality before, I was somewhat apprehensive regarding The Eternal's chances of really pulling it off given their past inconsistency.

The album is well produced and played, and the singing is certainly competent. Whether or not the kind of melodies and arrangements they use will appeal to most metal fans is a different matter, because the band pretty much got rid of whatever shades of doom metal might be left and embraced a more chorus and melody-oriented path. The music is quite well written, with some really nice guitar touches, but often seems too saccharine for its own good with all the melody failing to find a heavier counterpart ("Sunshine" goes way too far, with "Walk Beside You" a close second). On the plus side, not only is the songwriting quite good, the album as a whole seems more consistent -- though ironically the doom bits I liked before are gone -- despite tracks ranging from the more common four minute mark to one over nine minutes long (the eastern-tinged "Blood"). _Kartika_ is a very competent album sure to find a warm reception among those who enjoy thoroughly melodic, mid-paced and only very slightly brooding songs.


(article published 15/4/2009)

9/2/2005 P Azevedo 6 The Eternal - Sleep of Reason
5/25/2004 P Azevedo 7 The Eternal - The Sombre Light of Isolation
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