Here we have a real life Erich Zann; a man who conjures up strange and otherworldly melodies never heard before. In the short story by H.P. Lovecraft, titled "The Music of Erich Zann", this peculiar violinist plays this quaint music to keep back those creatures from another dimension.
Not being sure what mainman VJS's (ex-Kult Ov Azazel etc.) intentions are, perhaps to keep some creatures at bay or then conjure them up, but his compositional works are at times outright weird. This surely invokes feelings of evil, alien and ulterior things. Fast, attacking tremolo picked riffs are heard a lot, accompaniedd by fast, usually blast beat, drumming. There are familiar chord progressions, but also rather individual approaches at times. The harmonics regularly create a feeling of howling spirits. The guitars sound by turns both thick as an impenetrable darkness, and piercing, plus echoing. Then there are slower, majestic parts to bring in this gloomy atmosphere. Hardly ever can this music be called as "easy". It often gets dissonant, and these times are them, when it gets truly "Zann"-esque. So, there still are connections to some black metal bands and styles, most notably to French and Norwegian schools with similar approaches (meaning mainly fast and dissonant). Certainly there are some US influences, too. The drums sound totally cavernous, in a way establishing a truly cold and spacey mood.
Add to this all the vocals styles, that are mindlessly inhuman. Gasping, grunting and hoarse voices are several adjectives to depict them, and they too contain a lot of reverberation, and often there are several voices at once. They were performed by Horidus (Demoncy, Legions Of Astaroth), who decided to take his own life a few weeks ago. It definitely makes this even more eerie an experience!
The biggest drawback about this is the sameness of the blast beat paces. It makes a lot of the song material sound too homogenous. When VJS tried out something different, e.g. the melodiousness on 'Evil Comes Forth', those tempo fluctuations, and instrumental pieces (piano and ambient ones are heard), without any kind of surprise, stick out from all the blasting. While I'm not following the whole black metal movement very delicately, this still feels rather familiar. However, VJS have managed to make it even more and more morbid than many others have succeeded at. During faster speeds, some of the drumming is left somewhat unheard, especially the snare drum due to the fast and not so powerful hitting. Then, during a few slower parts, the drums sound boxy.
If you are looking for black metal, that oozes malevolence and pure evil, 'Eternal Funeral Trance' is a one very substantial choice to try out. The sameness can be turned into various states of meditation (especially if you are able to live on higher frequencies), so even that trait does not badly curtail the quality here, and actually can work the other way. This is true cosmic evil!!! Are you bold enough to confront it all?
Rating: 7½ (out of 10) ratings explained
Reviewed by Lane