• Finding smooth salvation in death - A review of Ewigheim's ''Schlaflieder''

    Ewigheim - Schlaflieder (2016)

    After the rhythmic, energizing and danceable ''24/7'', Ewigheim makes a one hundred eighty degree turn and offers the smooth, introspective and dreamy ''Schlaflieder''. Obviously, the album title doesn't refer to ordinary lullabies but rather talks about eternal sleep which is a euphemism for death. The sinister lyrics describe death as a destiny and salvation that one should rather embrace than fear because it's a part of all our lives. These philosophical lyrics can be seen as very liberating, profound and realistic if you or someone close to you faces death. If you are a fragile person, mentally unstable or already in a suicidal mood, these emotional lyrics can though be dangerous because they describe death as something trivial, omnipresent or even desirable.

    Musically, the band focuses on soft keyboard patterns, numbing piano melodies, a smooth yet precise rhythm section, simplistic guitar riffs and elegant baritone singing. The crooning, dark and low vocals are hypnotizing, mournful and seductive. They can be seen as the trademark and highlight of this record and remind of a more relaxed alternative to Moonspell, Tiamat and Type 0 Negative. The vocals are supported by doom and gothic metal riffs, simple and sorrowful piano melodies and numbing electronic background sounds. This mixture convinces most in the comforting and enchanting opener ''Schlaflied'', the longing and melancholic ''Einmal noch'' and the elegiac ''Wir, der Teufel und ich II'' that manages to tell an epic story despite its concise length.

    There are only few tracks that venture into mid-tempo territories and feature some more poignant riffs like the rhythmic ''Himmelsleiter'', the urgent ''Besessen & entseelt'' and the closure of the gloomy ''Dies ist der Preis'' where heavy guitar riffs are in the foreground. In general, this album should rather be categorized as depressive or gothic rock but not as a metal output. Imagine a gloomier version of Anathema and Katatonia and you might have a better idea of what to expect. If you like sinister rock music that needs some time to open up, focuses more on the overall atmosphere than on songwriting aspects of each specific track and delivers profound lyrics offering some food for thought, this record will grow on you as it did on me. It's an album for special moments only that truly unfolds its magick during rainy and dark autumn or winter nights. If you are expecting a bleak and desperate riff-based gothic metal record, you might find this release rather underwhelming and should approach this album cautiously.

    Final verdict: 82%

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