Sear Bliss

Eternal Recurrence

Written by: MST on 22/02/2012 12:33:51

I've never been a fan of traditional black metal. I find that it bores me extremely quickly. But I've also found that most black metal bands who dare venture out into undiscovered waters get me very excited. Thus is the case with Sear Bliss. The band was formed in 1993 in Hungary and released their last album "The Arcane Odyssey" in 2007. "Eternal Recurrence" is their seventh full length release, and it sounds different, to say the least.

The album distances itself from regular black metal by incorporating numerous other genres and some instruments that are rather rare in black metal. The first thing that jumps at me is the use of trumpets and the occasional tuba. Oh yeah, you read that right. The trumpets pop up here and there to create an atmosphere leaning into blues, but it also brings to mind a band like Dimmu Borgir in their most orchestral moments. And when a fretless bass suddenly takes control of the soundscape it further enforces the bluesy feel. "There's No Shadow Without Light" even has a flute popping up here and there. Secondly, we have the band breaking out into a clean vocal choir, and while the way they utilize their combined voices yet again conjures up a bluesy feeling, it also adds a sense of doom metal to the album along with the often very slow instruments, as heard in "Ballad Of The Shipwrecked", for instance. And last but not least, album closer "Entering The Seventh Gate" is one hell of an experimental and progressive song: vocalist András Nagy suddenly breaks out into some strange, almost nasal clean vocals with a female voice in the background repeating everything Nagy says, while keyboards hauntingly repeat the same creepy carnival music over and over until the other instruments kick in.

Every single song contains interesting elements that make them special in their own way, which is why I hate saying that I don't quite love the album. I keep waiting for the climax that would make my heart go faster for a couple of seconds. The songs on "Eternal Recurrence" sound like they're constantly building up to something but never reach their goal, and while there's plenty of strange elements to be all surprised about, the album lacks variation in terms of interesting guitar riffs, and it could do with a few more up-tempo sections in some of the songs as the black/doom metal experiment isn't really my thing. The seventh album by Sear Bliss is still thoroughly enjoyable though, and if progressive black/doom metal is right up your alley I urge you to give it a try yourself.


Download: The Eternal Quest, Ballad Of The Shipwrecked, A Lost Cause, Entering The Seventh Gate
For The Fans Of: Lantlôs, Altar Of Plagues, Dimmu Borgir
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.01.2012
Candlelight Records

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