Ewigheim is a German band composed of members from the atmospheric gothic metal outfit The Vision Bleak, the controversial, explicit, and grisly extreme metal band Eisregen, and the modern groove and industrial metal group Hämatom, among others. Ewigheim has been around since 1999 and released a convincing comeback release entitled Bereue Nichts last year. The album had a very morbid and nihilistic atmosphere centered on doomy riffs, a few danceable electronic elements, and sarcastic lyrics filled with tons of black humor. The band’s new release, Nachruf seems at first to hit a very similar vein with its morbid title and the explicit cover artwork, but to my positive surprise the band changed its formula quite a bit.
Of course, some songs like “Himmelfahrt” still talk about the ephemeral nature of life and the longing for death, and are not for the more sensitive minds among us. The band still introduces us to characters that are fed up with the negative sides of their lives and dream about escapism and suicide, but the new record also shows us new perspectives. Many songs bear a rebellious soul, and tell us stories filled with hope and rebellion where the protagonists stand up to fight their desperate fate, or where they remember the brighter sides of life as in “Liebes Lied”, “Glück im Unglück”, or “Wenn Es Am Schönsten Ist”. The closing epic “Sanctum Imperium” features a grisly performance by guest vocalist Michael “Blutkehle” Roth that complements main vocalist Allen B. Konstanz’ melancholic and melodic clean vocals very well in a track somewhere between black, doom, and symphonic dark metal. Even this song seems to spread the hopeful message that there might be something more and glorious after the end of our lives. Some lyrics are also very poetic, reminding me of the Neue Deutsche Todeskunst genre, and have some sort of a double sense where the interpretation could be optimistic or pessimistic. That’s what I like about this record’s lyrics. Instead of presenting us only a negative or a positive solution as on their previous records, the band offers oracular, overthought, and philosophical lyrics that deliver some real and challenging food for thought.
Musically, this record is much easier to digest than the previous effort. The songs are all rather short, the riffs are simple but atmospheric and efficient at the same time, and the bass guitar and drum play are tighter and more dynamic than before. The electronic elements are more prominent than ever and create quite a few danceable patterns that should appeal to the gothic community. More effectively used symphonic passages can be heard as well. Atmosphere, catchiness, and diversity are the winning key elements, and the band still keeps in touch with its previous material in terms of lyrics and style. The choruses include intelligent lyrics but are nevertheless catchier than ever before. Ewigheim offers some very addicting melodies in the rebellious and almost romantic “Die Augen Zu” which is maybe the best song the band has ever written. The brilliant “Falsches Herz” has more of a Type O Negative vibe, and has some hit potential as well. Fans of bands such as The 69 Eyes should also dig this track. The epic atmosphere of the gothic metal anthem and title track “Ein Nachruf” is also quite addicting, and manages to mix a faster overall buildup with a dark and dragging atmosphere in only four minutes.
In the end, Ewigheim delivers its catchiest, most diverse, and intellectually appealing record that should please anybody who cares for the gothic scene and anything between danceable dark wave, doomy gothic rock, and symphonic extreme metal. In its genre, this release is easily the highlight of the year. It only depends on your willingness to join this bleak, hypnotizing, and intellectual dark ride.