Review by Vladimir on August 1, 2023.
Some of the best albums we’ve got this year come from the heavy metal category and although we’re halfway through 2023, there is still plenty to come. Among the new releases that popped up recently was the new album by the German heavy metal band The Night Eternal from Essen, the birthplace of Kreator. The band has released their second full-length album Fatale on July 14th via Ván Records, so without further ado, let’s have a look at it, shall we?
From one track to another, The Night Eternal incorporates a ton of melodic heavy metal work with powerful and catchy riffs, emotional guitar solos, mid-tempo drumming, with vocals that are in style very reminiscent Glenn Danzig’s singing. The essence of this album is pure power and heaviness, with each track possessing its own strength that easily transcends into magic in musical form. Some of the strongest tracks that I can give as great examples are definitely 'We Praise Death', the galloping track 'Ionean Sea', 'Stars Guide My Way', 'Prometheus Unbound' and 'Between The Worlds'. Another great example I can give you is the acoustic instrumental track 'The Requiem' which serves as a nice interlude that bridges the gap between 'Prometheus Unbound' and the final track 'Between The Worlds'. The songwriting is quite simple but on point, where minimalism is put to a good use to reproduce something to crawl under your skin. The strongest point for this album would definitely have to be the vocals of Ricardo Baum, which express such an incredible range of emotions and in style resemble a lot of Glenn Danzig’s singing. My only weakness that I found about this album is that it feels somewhat a very quick listen despite its 42-minute length, which made me feel as if it wasn’t enough and I just kept craving for more. That’s not to say that the album is lackluster, far from it, there’s plenty to adore here, it’s just that when the album finished, I was left like “Wait! That’s it? I want more dammit!”. I think that this is just a minor nitpick that you can definitely look aside and certainly nothing can stop you to see what it has to offer. The album’s production is fairly well done, in a way that you can simultaneously tell that it’s modern and polished yet it doesn’t feel like it, giving the album a very beautiful and clean sound.
Fatale might be some of the best heavy metal albums we’ve got this year and from what I’ve seen in the comments of both fans and critics, it’s definitely praised for its artistic direction. I think I’ll have to check out some of The Night Eternal’s earliest works before Fatale, because this one really was a joy to listen to. I am not quite sure what else should be said other than “Stop wasting time, go check it out!” and I certainly hope you will.
Rating: 8.6 out of 10424
Review by Michael on July 18, 2023.
Oh oh, again I have to ring the bell of shame. Why? Well, unfortunately I totally missed the debut album of German The Night Eternal called Moonlit Cross. I knew the name of the band but I have to confess that I really didn't care about them until I got their latest album Fatale. Shame on me, shame, shame!
Musically the band hasn't changed too much but what is very obvious right from the beginning is that vocalist Ricardo has improved his voice pretty much. He sounds much fuller and has a greater range in his voice. Apart from that the production sounds much more saturated and that gives the 9 songs with a total running time of approximately 42 minutes much more grip and power and makes Fatale a very exciting and sophisticated listening experience. So what is it that makes the album so exciting? Well, first of all I cannot classify The Night Eternal style so easily. It is a mixture of classic heavy metal paired with a lot of occult rock influences and very often the guitar tunes remind me of Heroes Del Silencio (just compare “Entre Dos Tierras” to a song like 'In Tartarus' or 'We Praise Death' and you'll know what I mean). And what also comes to mind is that Ricardo's vocals sound pretty much like a “lighter” version of Glen Danzig back in the days when he was still cool. Stylistically he is pretty much in the same way and has just a little bit higher range in his voice.
Talking about the songs there isn't a single one that somehow falls off. The compositions are very convincing and also very diverse. A song like 'We Praise Death' really kicks ass and is a cool banger with its rhythmic arrangements, on the other side are some more cheerful songs like 'Run With The Wolves' or 'Between The Worlds' that focus more on the technical skills of the quintet. With 'Prometheus Unbound' they also have a very fast and heavy song up in their sleeve, some riffs are almost thrash-like and the vocals are very aggressive. What is remarkable too, are the whispered voices that adds certain evilness to the song. In 'Ionean Sea' you can clearly hear some obvious influences the band has. The twin guitar solo often sounds like Iron Maiden and here and there I also get reminded of newer Tribulation stuff. But for sure that won't be the only big influence since you can also find some gothic influences around every corner and this wide spectrum of styles that the guys combine makes this album so outstanding. Another positive aspect is that with Fatale they don't create a wannabe super evil and depressive piece of music but they always keep up a positive atmosphere and the album never tries to drag you down. Even when they sing about death, there is a bright connotation to it. Sure we can find a lot of drama in songs like 'Stars Guide My Way' but it always turns out good.
Well, as you can read in my words for sure, I was pretty much floored with this album while listening to it the first couple of times and still I cannot find any point of criticism for Fatale. For me this is the highlight in classic heavy metal in 2023 – maybe the guys from Attic or Mercyful Fate can create something similar but only the King and Satan know when this will happen.
Rating: 10 out of 10424