Shores of Sheol - _Eternal Sin - The Great Conquest_
by: Yulon Zhu (4.5 out of 5)
The Greek black metal scene has continued to be one of the most unique scenes of the genre. Bands seem to strive for first place as well as all of the other awards, too. Originality, ingenuity and a quest to not only be the coldest and most grim, not to just be the most vile and evil, but to express their individuality and what makes them stand apart from the rest. Let's just say that the Greeks actually show you themselves standing alone in the darkness through their music, not just in promo shots. Austrian one man band Shores of Sheol seems to understand this, and has decided to adopt and cultivate this style as his own.

Shores of Sheol is a prime example of the musical power and prowess one person can possess. The most melancholic and misty atmospheres are summoned in the stride of top-notch black metal on _Eternal Sin - The Great Conquest_. The music is stunning and the mystical production is perfect for this type of music. Everything about this demo just screams epic masterpiece.

"Worship the Beast" has the temperature and tempo of black metal combined with the stampeding blasts of what is basically atmospheric death metal. Marko's vocals are death metal growls that also fluctuate to raspy black metal screams when the music calls for it. The guitars on "Liberation of the Chosen One" show more versatility, incorporating a few more helpings of melody onto the plate. It's wonderful how warm they stay while playing such hollow, distant chords. The drums stay surprisingly quiet and remain in the background. While this isn't normal for black metal, the technique works amazingly well here as the guitars are highlighted even more. "Eternal Sin - The Great Conquest" begins with a guitar solo melting into the main rhythm, almost like _Triarchy of Lost Lovers_. The cleverly placed ambient passage leans into folk metal's territory this time with a woodsy, tribal beat.

If you've heard anything else by this band, you'll realize how far four years has taken Shores of Sheol. Although a little more variation between the tracks would be welcome, _Eternal Sin - The Great Conquest_ shows good things in store for the future.

Fans of Rotting Christ or black metal with something more to offer than the formulized "Satan, blood, Satan, grim" band, absolutely need to check out Shores of Sheol. Marko proves how far this genre can be stretched and just how ahead of their time Rotting Christ was when they released the genre defining _Passage to Arcturo_.


(article published 30/1/2009)

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