• Bringing eternal sleep to plagued souls - A review of Ewigheim's Irrlichter

    Ewigheim - Irrlichter (2019)

    Irrlichter is the seventh studio album of poetic depressive gothic metal band Ewigheim and follows the style of the smooth predecessor Schlaflieder. Just like all Ewigeim records, the album mainly deals with topics regarding death. The music focuses on soothing clean vocals, equally domineering melancholic guitar and piano sounds and slow and stoic rhythms.

    Especially the first half is rather calm, introspective and slow. Opening piano ballad ''Und es wird Licht'' is one of the slowest lullabies the band has ever written but oozes with atmosphere that lures into a peaceful mood while the menacing guitar undertones evoke that the incoming lyrical salvation is a poisoned chalice. Even by Ewigheim's smooth standards, this is one of the band's slowest tracks ever and underlines that the band focuses much more on atmosphere than musicianship. ''Alles wird gut'' introduces stoic drum patterns and domineering bass guitar sounds to the smooth vocals and piano sounds while the lyrics that portray a narrator who seems to help a plagued soul who can't fall asleep by bringing that poor character eternal sleep.

    The band slightly quickens up the pace in the second half. The melancholic ''Spinnenkind'' haunts with desperate melodic low vocals accompanied by a steady rhythm section and a combination of melodic mid-paced guitar and piano sounds. Quasi-title song ''Irrlicht'' is a track that could come from a record by Anathema, Katatonia and Paradise Lost about a decade and a half ago and contrasts calm piano passages and smooth vocals with mid-paced gothic metal outbursts and more passionate vocal lines.

    In the end, Ewigheim's Irrlichter should appeal to those who like particularly smooth, slow and poetic gothic metal and are willing to embrace the music's atmosphere and read the lyrics while enjoying this sinister yet beautiful output. This record might be the hardest to digest in Ewigheim's career up to this point but patience gets rewarded as the album progressively opens up. It's best enjoyed with a glass of wine on a dark night to unfold its bleak vibes.

    Final rating: 78%

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