Canadian Black Metal outfit Eclipser return with a follow up to their 2019 debut full length ‘Pathos’. ‘Pages’ is a new five-track, fourteen-minute EP and although this release is a little different from its predecessor, it’s different in a good way. The reduced lineup has led to the sound being more focused on something sharper, and I think, a little more unique.
Eclipser – Pages (EP, Self-Release)
Release Date: 28 May 2021
Words: Jools Green
Regarding ‘Pages’, the band said that “the writing and recording of this EP were pretty chaotic, and we think it comes through in the music. We had some member changes that forced us to reinvent our sound and move away from our previous release, ‘Pathos’.
“We finished tracking drums right before the first wave of COVID-19 hit Canada, so we had to learn to track the rest of the album from home. There is a good mix of aggression and melody both within the songs and from one to another.”
Sound-wise it’s still Black Metal with a modern feel, incorporating Death Metal elements and still very technically creative, brutal and dissonant, maybe even more so.
They have shaped their sound around the lower vocal delivery of guitarist and vocalist Ryan Menard. I like the style a great deal, being low and acerbically scathing and well intonated with good clarity of content.
In place of higher vocals, the higher elements come from bursts of jangling riffs. They were there before in a lesser capacity but are more prominent now. The sound is still bleak and aggressive, but I think darker.
A superb offering
The EP opens on the title track ‘Pages’. With brutal contrasting elements, this superb offering, with tremolo picking and great swathes of riffs, also has a dark heavy melodic undercurrent. Superbly phrased, which bolsters those vocals perfectly, there is a subtly understated second half leadwork. Altogether a track that can’t fail to grab your attention.
‘Matternaught’ is a dissonant frontal assault of a track, powerful, sinister and hugely impactful and ‘Carry Your Burden’ continues in that dark, crushingly impactful manner.
My favourite track of the EP is the single, released in April, ‘To Never Wake Again’. Slower to open but just as heavy, it builds in pace and intensity and breaks into a haunting swathe of stunning leadwork at the midpoint, which perfectly dominates the whole second half of the track.
The final track and longest of the EP, ‘Fathomless’, is sinister and reflective to open, the sound building in dark, intense and complex layers that are harrowingly engaging.
‘Pages’ was mixed by Mike Raymond at Reverence Audio, mastered by Topon Das at Apartment 2 Recording, and the album artwork is by Misanthropic-art
It is available as a digital release from: eclipser.bandcamp.com/releases
An EP that is definitely worth your attention if you like Black Metal with an interesting Death Metal twist.