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Eucharist - A Velvet Creation
Review: Eucharist attempt distinctive black metal and achieve that goal in the context of melodic, classically influenced death metal with black metal aesthetics that places it in the intermediary zone of melodic death/black metal, sound often like At the Gates in their use of open harmony and retaining the centralized structuralism which means song emerge logically from riffs and once the codex is known the song is predictable.
Rhythmically they are rigid and framelike instead of rock n roll bouncy and remain unsteady like a first-generation speed metal band, using offset beats for emphasis and weaving lengthier riffs through rigid percussive patterns. Despite the repetition factors of these elements, Eucharist rise above and create a varied musical journey that is competent and interesting although suffering more a sense of variation and exploration than expression as it pursues its musical goals.
Guitars are melodic and cut the primary rhythm of each song, staggering walking rhythms into medium tempo riff motions that degrade rapidly into speedier efforts. Gravel-voiced and leather-throated a vocalist speaks dense passages over these running rhythms and introduces new sections with agonizing screams. Drums bash along in an adrenalized classic rock/metal style infused with jazz fusion tempos and hits, with fragmentary beats shaved from the stick technique on each emphasis. Barely discernible in the motion of the guitar is the work of a powerful bassist, who keeps rhythm and tone supported well.
Eucharist wield techicality and advanced composition such as open chords, melodies, harmonies and rhythmic interweaving as their primary distinction and produce value in artistic range from their knowledge. At the center of this knowledge, however, songwriting remains shakier than it must be and cohesion is sometimes grasping for closure, despite being often covered by monster technique or adept classically-influenced acoustic intros. Conceptually this band are nowhere as advanced as their music, working within variations of death and black metal themes while added a stoic fatalism. There is little distinction from first wave black metal outside of instrumental flourish and solid, more grounded and solemn approaches to tone and arrangement.
Often fragmentary and delicious bits of metal hover disconnected to these entities known as songs, despite a strong riff-pattern relationship to each song, become swept in the weave that progresses through the unravelling of its melody, touching internal points of harmony in an advancing and then reversing complementary order to achieve neutralization. Once songs become motive the power of this style holds that patterning until resolution fades away, forming a calmness like certain death. While there are fewer dynamic phenomen utilized here than would make this album fully effective, the intellectual and emotional experience of listening is pleasantly disassociative and diversely inventive.