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Aeternam

Disciples of the Unseen

(Metal Blade; US: 16 Feb 2010; UK: 15 Feb 2010)

Upon hearing Quebec City’s Aeternam, one’s immediate instinct is to write these guys off as nothing more than a watered-down, lighter version of Behemoth. You’re never going to top one of the most imposing bands in all of extreme metal, so why even bother, right? The further we delve into the debut full-length Disciples of the Unseen, though, the more it’s revealed this young band slowly, subtly starts to create its own identity by cleverly integrating various sounds beyond Behemoth’s oeuvre. Shades of Melechesh’s “Mesopotamian metal” start to creep in. The frenetic death metal blasting suddenly gives way to more economical thrash riffs. We’re treated to the kind of atmospheric touches that Nile’s Karl Sanders is so adept at. Interestingly, as capable as guitarist Achraf Loudiy’s Nergal-esque growls are, he also displays exceptional range, providing cleanly sung vocals that offset the brutality. Before we know it, tracks like “The Coronation of Seth”, “Esoteric Formulae”, and the stately “Circle in Flames” have won us over to the point where we’ll never admit we ever second-guessed this talented and promising new band in the first place.

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Adrien Begrand has been writing for PopMatters since 2002, and has been writing his monthly metal column Blood & Thunder since 2005. His writing has also appeared in Metal Edge, Sick Sounds, Metallian, graphic novelist Joel Orff's Strum and Drang: Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll, Knoxville Voice, The Kerouac Quarterly, JackMagazine.com, StylusMagazine.com, and StaticMultimedia.com. A contributing writer for Decibel, Terrorizer, and Dominion magazines and senior writer for Hellbound, he resides, blogs, and does the Twitter thing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


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