I must say that, as a fan of My Dying Bride, I consider myself as an orphan of that great band that was Cryptal Darkness, in my opinion the most valuable and credible epigones of the masters from Halifax that I had the chance to listen to. All this has to do with the new album by the Australians The Eternal, not so much for the musical style (here we are in the presence of a refined and catchy gothic metal, but insidiously melancholic in several moments), but because the singer and guitarist Mark Kelson gave birth to it in 2003 just after ending the story of Cryptal Darkness, who will leave to posterity a masterpiece like They Whispered You Had Risen. The Sombre Light Of Isolation, the debut full length with the new moniker, immediately cleared the field of misunderstandings, making it clear that the emotions in The Eternal were to be found in a wise melodic construction, rather than in the poignant guitar litanies of the most extreme gothic death doom. Our band, after fifteen years of activity, has not reached the commercial success that could be plausible with the offer of softer sounds and more accessible to a greater number of listeners, so I guess that Kelson, five years after the last full length, thought it was time to care less about the market, letting flow their inspiration without setting themselves any particular limits: so here we are with Waiting For The Endless Dawn, an album that doesn’t appeal to an audience accustomed to disposable music, with its hour and a quarter of duration and the twenty minutes of the opener The Wound. The most important thing, however, after all these considerations, is that the album turns out to be a magnificent test, which takes to school most of the bands that try their hand at the genre, including some of the best known. In the work of The Eternal the references are important, so you can’t help but find in some tracks a hint of the more catchy and persuasive Swallow The Sun of the last works (and in fact in the sixth track we have the always welcome participation of Mikko Kotamäki), or to find as guest on keyboards also that Martin Powell that with his violin made unique not only My Dying Bride but also Cryptal Darkness. Despite their length, all the single tracks would be potential hits, as they have choruses that are difficult to remove from memory, but The Eternal seem to have deliberately exaggerated in this sense, as if to challenge the listener to grasp the beauty in a structure much less obvious than it may appear at first glance. The Wound, A Cold Day To Face My Failure, the wonderful In The Lilac Dusk (the song with Kotamäki’s participation) are the three tracks that impress the most (and that alone would form the length of a normal and splendid full length…) but, in general, Waiting For The Endless Dawn is a work with a really high average level, which only lacks that pinch of synthesis that comes from the length, which could frighten those who do not have the patience of the average doom listener. As already mentioned, the album needs to be adequately worked on despite its apparent stylistic lightness, precisely because given its length several key passages could escape during the first listenings: we are certainly in front of the most ambitious test of The Eternal, who have left no stone unturned to put on the plate what could be their definitive work; now it’s up to the fans the burden of providing an adequate feedback to this worthy Australian band.
2018 – Audio Cave