Thursday 19 September 2013

Review: Eibon La Furies – 'The Immoral Compass'

'The Immoral Compass' 

Avant garde black metalers Eibon La Furies made a name for themselves swiftly with two independently released EPs and by the time of their full-length début 'The Blood Of The Realm' (2010) on Code666, their combination of Victorian and occult themes filtered through a gothic-tinged black metal framework was garnering them with critical praise. 2013 sees the band return with their sophomore effort 'The Immoral Compass', an album that conceptually borders on Steampunk and fuses a myriad of styles including, black metal, gothic rock, prog and traditional metal. The result isn't a ferocious barrage that one would expect from a band with the old black metal tag. Instead the furies give the listener something a little more refined, eccentric and unequivocally English.

Kicking off with 'The Compass Awakes (Intro) ' before descending headlong into 'Immoral Compass to the World' the band fuse ambient keyboards with some exquisitely fanciful guitar work that cushions the rasping vocals of Lord Eibon. While 'Astronomy in Absences ' makes excellent use of some wonderful prog-rock style breakdowns and guitar interludes. The undoubted highlight of the album comes courtesy of 'Flames 1918 (A Song for the Silence) ', an ultra-gothic piano ballad driven by martial beats and deep Carl McCoy style vocals that show off the true strength of Lord Eibon's range. 'Who Watches the Watchers? ' delves into more recognisably black metal territory musically, however the pace and delivery of the vocals coupled with the mid-tempo guitar soloing gives it a near-psychedelic slant. 'Ascending Through Darkness ' recaptures that Fields Of The Nephilim quality once again before getting a little more bombastic and theatrical. The theatrical style then continues into the spoken word of 'The Vanguard ', which shows of some haunting acoustic guitar before briefly unleashing the heavier styles of the band's formula. While the penultimate track 'The End of Everything (Or the beginning of it all) ' makes good use of a slower, doomier approach that shows of another seriously strong weapon hiding in the band's arsenal.

The various styles and elements could be in danger of fracturing the overall atmosphere of the album. But it doesn't, instead the variety becomes the glue of the album. Eibon La Furies can turn their hands to a lot of styles very easily. But their strengths are definitely within the avant garde, gothic and outright theatrical elements that have served to set them apart from the rest of the UKBM scene so well.  

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