The litany of German sludge/doom crushers Eremit has been something of beauty to behold. Their debut, Carrier Of Weight was something I hailed to everyone who could hear as the awakenings of a new superstar of the genre, and their follow up EP Desert Of Ghouls continued that path. But it’s Bearer Of Many Names, as it is with a lot of sophomore releases, that bears the responsibility of confirming, and continuing, their legacy and releases 11th June via Transcending Obscurity.
Opener Enshrined In Indissoluble Chains And Enlightened Darkness builds oh so slowly with clean, cold guitar tones that wreathe themselves in a funereal atmosphere. After six minutes however there is an abrupt change, and it is the debut of the black metal influence that touches base throughout the entire album, giving everything that dark, dangerous edge. Don’t worry, the swampy miasma returns with aplomb, but now the torturous grinding riffs are laced with this poisonous touch. Imagine if EyeHateGod, Gorgoroth and Sleep had a child, this record would be it. Man, that sounds terrifying and yet somehow awesome at the same time… By the time the quietness returns at twenty one minutes, you’ll be a husk of a human being, left to crumble under those closing riffs.
Imagine if EyeHateGod, Gorgoroth and Sleep had a child, this record would be it…
Once you endure the opener, the cataclysmic heaviness of Secret Powers Entrenched In An Ancient Artefact might be too much for the uninitiated. Special shout out to vocalist Moritz Fabian who’s absolutely heart wrenching performance is key to this atmospheric dread. Shrieks, growls, roars from the abyss, everything you could need to accompany the sound of the slow motion apocalypse. If anything, this song is more melodic than the opener, but only in the sense that melody will occasionally pervade the gloom and the nihilism. The mesmerising main riff loops what feels like endlessly, sinking us into oblivion.
Finally we come to the closer, Unmapped Territories Of Clans Without Names, the shortest track here (hahahahahaha eighteen plus minutes!) but in terms of quality up there with some of the finest, most melancholic sludge doom I’ve heard this year. There’s almost a glimmer of hope at the end of this, threatening to be swallowed up by the weight behind it. And that is a key element of everything Eremit are doing here; creating excellent, poignant music for us all to slip into and be carried off. Bearer Of Many Names is a triumphant work of songwriting and execution, giving you as much as you can deal with and then going further. Stunning.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson