|‘Eternitas’ has taken a long time to get to fruition. The basic backing tracks were put down between December 2002 and February 2003 when the band guitarist and composer Jan Yrlund, bassist Milos Marisevic and drummer Merijn Mol were still operating under the name Danse Macabre. Roping in producer Oliver Philipps to provide piano and some clean vocals, The Dreamside’s singer Kemi Vita and Judith Stüber (who’d sung on Danse Macabre’s ‘Eva’ album) for the female vocals and Roman Schönsee (bassist of The Dreamside) to bark and growl, they broke off recordings for a summer tour in 2003. When they got back they realised they had a viable band on their hands. The three singers finished the vocals a year later while they rest of the band stripped down the recordings and added new parts (and a new song). The results were mastered in April 2005, the band were released from their existing contract in autumn 2005 and signed to Lion Music, and, as Satyrian, finally released the album in March 2006.
OK, so from the past to the present; was it worth the wait? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Like a fine wine, ‘Eternitas’ has been given time to mature through its lengthy period of gestation and, loudly ‘n’ proudly wearing its Sisters Of Mercy influences on its sleeve, it features a mix of pure traditional Goth, industrial hammerbeats and Twenty-First Century Metal Female Voices atmosphere. The title track and album opener immediately points the direction the album is going to follow: a short, slower piano version of the main riff quickly gets swamped as everything kicks in and ups both the tempo and the game at once. It’s possibly the most Sisters’ song on the album but that’s no bad thing in itself and is followed by the uber-heavy Rammstein-ish ‘Invictus’. Elsewhere, just to comment on some of the songs that really did it for me, I love the vocals and piano backing in ‘My Legacy’ and I’m a sucker for the hopelessness and despair of ‘This Dream’.
Philipps has done a good job on the production side, and with the piano touches too; but come to that, there are no slouches in this band. All credit though to Yrlund who not only wrote the songs and pulls off some nice guitar work, but who also produced the artwork obviously one of those annoying buggers who’s far too clever for his own good! The only song that fails to ruffle my flag is ‘Bridge Of Death’ which is a bit too folky and twee for me; it veers almost into a gothic version of Blackmore’s Night (kind of like the man in black, in black). And I think at 55 minutes the album could have done with a slight trim to make it slightly shorter and a bit more punchy. But aside from that, ‘Eternitas’ is a true gothic dream or nightmare, depending on how you slice your pleasure and pain. I’m already looking forwards to the follow-up album so long as it doesn’t take another three-and-a-half years!