(Raven Music / Listenable Records)
Well, what a weird thought... I was given the debut CD "Kindless" of Israelian Death Metal fiends ETERNAL GRAY. I was also given a brief information sheet providing a few insights in the band's background, motives, characteristics. Actually I have a slightly ambivalent feeling toward bandinfos, for I have already had too paradoxical experiences with these orgies of vanity, and the actual material wasn't that convincing at all. But in terms of a clearly arranged summary of the band's activities to far such a sheet comes in quite handy. What's the aforementioned weird thing about the band then? Here we go: ETERNAL GRAY are from Israel. Maybe I am stubborn or perhaps it's me who's the one being strange here... but I think it's a crazy picture that evolves when I imagine the band rehearsing in the Holy Land, the land where so many religiously relevant communities find their roots... the likelihood is quite high that these guys have their rehearsal room somewhere in the desolate desert. In brief - ETERNAL GRAY play mid-tempo based Death Metal that is arranged relatively complex. Their music is a vital fusion of technical guitar-work, mostly straight drumming and a cool usage of various vocal qualities - that is, the vocals fluctuate between old-schoolish Death Metal grunts and kind of psychotic Black Metal-like screams. Let's stick to the single components of the band's music separately, and in greater detail. Firstly - the guitars: the guitarists make use of a variety of Metal stylistics. The major characteristic, I can state, are quite swift, melodious, and variable guitar riffs. Chiefly, the guitar-work incorporates Power Metal themes in the vein of NEVERMORE and comparable bands. Certain quotations from the sick and spherical moments MORBID ANGEL have developed and coined can be detected, too. Moreover, the guitars sound explicitly technical and remind me a bit of marvellous bands such as DEATH or CYNIC (check 'World Of Ice' - superb soloing by the way)... but these moments are rather rare on "Kindless". Every now and then acoustic passages are woven in ETERNAL GRAY's music as well - this fact underpins my NEVERMORE comparison... merely on a guitar-related basis. The bass-lines do a good job as well - the bassist provides a dense and sort of flowing atmosphere in the background. The guitar / bass work sounds elaborate in combination. The drums are well-produced / very natural and can be assigned to the aforementioned observations concerning the similarities with NEVERMORE: semi-technical drumming basically, a blast-beat every once in a while, heavy grooves, structures that don't disturb the general flow of the compositions. As mentioned above, the vocals are varied and move between aggressive, old-school Death Metal vocals and those that can rather be denoted as influenced by Black Metal. Generally one can say that "Kindless" is an innovative release, extremely variable, very experimental, utterly creative. The sound is brilliant for an Abyss production I'd say... well, I just don't like these artificial outputs Peter Tägtgren has made in the recent couple of years. This CD sounds great... maybe because of the fact that Peter's brother Tommy sorted this production out. Definitely a very powerful, transparent and natural result!!! I especially appreciate its naturalness! The compositions are complex and unconventional. The ideas are cool... however, I sometimes have the feeling that ETERNAL GRAY extend their songs a bit too much and therefore are slightly tedious to listen to. The riffs are cool, but I think they would sound more effective in a more concise and compact context. But hey... that's my personal taste, and I myself tend to write complex and somewhat contrived music as well ;-) But I play a different kind of music, and in this particular instance, I think, compactness would be supportive to the songs. Nevertheless I enjoy listening to "Kindless" because it definitely is an original and dynamic output.
F. Cthulhu E.