AETERNUS released with “Burning The Shroud” a little compilation for all friends of the Norwegian Death Metal band. ‘Mini-CD’ wouldn’t be the right term, as this disc has a length of more than 52 minutes to offer. The opener and title track starts off with luscious Death Metal, driving double bass performances and a good, darkened Death Metal singing. At the half of the song they come up with an excellent guitar part, before the stomping Death Metal starts again. Track Nr. 2 “Midnatt Storm” starts off with a piano part, before the clanking cold Death Metal guitars enter the pitch. Here the thundering double bass parts are as well very present and the concept of the song is pretty similar to the concept of the first song. The third track, “Raven And Blood” has its origin at the EP “Dark Sorcery” (1995) and this version has been a little bit beefed up and they laid more power on it. The following four tracks (“To Enter The Realm Of Legend“, “When The Crows Shadow Falls“, “The Summoning Of Shadows“ and “Cuchulain“) were recorded live at a gig in Bergen (Norway) in February 2000. There isn’t much to say about these songs, as these songs appear on the predecessors of “Burning The Shroud”. What comes into my mind is the quality, which this band seems to have during their live performances, but these songs seem to be “retouched”, as the live recordings sound somehow like studio recordings. The closing track “In The Darkest Circles Of Time” is a little bit slower-paced, but it has an exquisitely pounding percussion layered on it.
Basically and essentially, you could say that you’re holding a piece of solid Death Metal in your hands. Every song has a crystal clear production and good performance of the musicians to offer. There isn’t any outstanding track (neither good nor bad) and the whole thing seems to be like some kind of “one-track-album”. The concepts of these songs are all pretty similar to each other, but the quality is definitely copasetic. It’s also pretty tough to find some appropriate reference-bands, as AETERNUS have somehow established their own style of Death Metal.
There are three new tracks and seven well known songs for all followers of this Norwegian band, so you won’t get any huge surprises within this compilation. For all those, who want to discover AETERNUS, this CD is recommendable, as you get a little “Best-Of” to buy. Who loves uncompromising, self-contained Death Metal, should give it a try.
(Online February 14, 2007)