At the end of listening to When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade, it seems that light years have passed since Mark Kelson, with his Cryptal Darkness, proposed himself as one of the most credible followers of the “dying bride” verb. The year was 1999, and the Australian band released a record as splendid as it was underrated by most as They Whispered You Had Risen, in which that Martin Powell who had been complicit in the masterpieces released in the first half of the 1990s by My Dying Bride also made a decisive contribution. After the good Chapter II – The Fallen, Mark Kelson decided to put an end to the Cryptal Darkness story to reappear in 2004 with a new band called The Eternal and a debut album, The Sombre Light Of Isolation, which, while still affected by the doom legacy of the “aussie” musician, shifted the musical center of gravity sharply toward a much more usable gothic and in some ways comparable to the Paradise Lost of the post-One Second phase. The following works saw a gradual and physiological lightening of the sound until the current landing to a decidedly more usable, though not unashamedly commercial, style. When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade is the fifth full-length in The Eternal‘s now nearly decade-long history and represents evidence of a band that is mature and aware of its own means, albeit in the current vacation of a label eager to support its efforts. Honestly, this work borders on perfection at least until Yesterday’s Fire, presenting a series of tracks in which a good impact is married with catchy melodies, coming very close to what has been done egregiously by The Foreshadowing and, consequently, drawing at the level of inspiration from the best Paradise Lost of the last decade: Circle Of Light and Motionless are episodes that shine in their own light and are capable of illuminating an entire album, just as Yesterday’s Fire, after a more drawn-out beginning, goes on to discomfort the most evocative Sentenced in the chorus. Unfortunately, the second half of the album shows the rope a bit, and it is precisely its length that ends up backfiring on the work of Kelson and co., especially since in its descending phase When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade loses its bite, ending up too often lapping at the gothic pop territories of Him; fortunately, the concluding track The Burning Truth is again sufficiently inspired, and this allows the listener to be handed a positive memory of the album. In any case, this latest effort by The Eternal does not disappoint, even if the emotions that Mark Kelson was able to deliver with tracks such as To Blackened Skies I Suffer are now a distant memory, as well as an ill-fitting term of comparison in light of his decisive stylistic shift. What remains, however, is the intrinsic value of an album that deserves the attention of those who have appreciated the latest Sentenced, Him and, of course, the Paradise Lost era Host and environs; for The Eternal a convincing test made of elegant gothic, with several tracks of considerable depth and undoubted commercial appeal, something that, in these times, is by no means to be underestimated.
2013 – Audio Cave