Eternal Thirst - The Hellish Fight Goes On - (9.5/10)
Published on December 27, 2017
In hell, no one can serve you drinks!
Throwbacks are not necessarily all derivation and no originality, in fact, they can often provide a fresh perspective on the past and even some needed revisions to a sound that may not have had ample time to fully mature. This is essentially how stylistic revivals work if they are to have any longevity; a sound is rediscovered, given a modern makeover and is subject to varying degrees of intermingling, either between other old forms or newer ones. Often times the freshest perspectives can come from places where the style had previously seen little exposure during its original heyday, and while Chile was known for many things during the 80s, gut-wrenching USPM and with a hefty side-order of German speed metal was not really on its radar. Thus is the status of Eternal Thirst, a Chilean up and comer that’s been toiling in the underground for about a decade and has recently gained greater exposure thanks to the efforts of Metal On Metal Records.
Although this band has maintained a highly energetic formula since their earliest days, things have taken a particularly jarring uptick on their latest LP The Hellish Fight Goes On. Much of this owes to a ratcheted up production that accents the heaviness of the guitars and the sheer enormity of the rhythm section, combining that reverb-heavy demeanor of the 80s glory days with a much chunkier body that is about as forbidding as an Andy Sneap production job. However, the principle element that makes this incarnation of the band and this particular album a boon to any fan of the darker side of power metal is recently recruited vocalist and newcomer Rodrigo Contreras. For anyone who remembers the good old days of the mid to late 80s when Midnight (Crimson Glory) and James Rivera (Helstar) were shattering glass with their inhuman warlock shrieks and mutterings, what Contreras brings to the table is such a perfect emulation of said style that one might speculate that one of the two aforementioned icons maybe had a bit too much fun while touring in South America.
All joking aside, this album is about as serious as they come with regards to high grade power metal of the more speed thrashing variant that is over-the-top enough to remember the 80s in the United States while also being ferocious enough to trade blows with more recent offerings out of German acts like Paragon and Grave Digger. Following the sounds of some raging war where steel swords cross and magic spells/ancient artillery explode, what can be best described as a tsunami of speeding goodness kicks things off in “The One Who Fights Will Never Die”, setting the tone for a relentless display of arcane rage and a riff set animated enough to pass for early Metallica. Similar tales of blinding fury on the gallop-happy cruiser “All Beasts Arise”, the double-kicking fury of “Power Of Fire” and the melodic guitar assault of “Battalion”, and on occasion things do slow down to a more mid-paced groove with the likes of “Anemas Dungeons” and “Into The Tower Of Fear”, resulting in a Grave Digger meets Crimson Glory hybrid turning more towards sounding like a pure Crimson Glory affair.
Enough can’t be said about the sheer amount of energy that just oozes out of every single second of this beast of an album. It’s the sort of raging; kick you in the face and then Irish dance on your skull style of speed metal meshed with some clear old school USPM and thrash elements that laughs in the face of every modernist twat who thinks high vocals and guitar solos are passé. Between the insane bursts of speed that could topple an entire city and then erect a new one on top of the rubble, and the iconic USPM trappings that are perfectly revisited amid the barrage and occasional respites, this is an album that has new classic written all over it, and is among the contenders for the greatest metal album unleashed in 2017. If there is any justice in this world, this platinum grade power metal in a land of silver and golden thrash metal will see a massive amount of interest come their way and we’ll all be treated to many sequels to this epic battle scene of an album.