The Lübeck based Symphonic Metal Band Aeternitas was founded in 1999 by Anja and Alexander Hunziger. The much-lauded debut album REQUIEM, released in 2009, is based on a variety of different styles from classic to metal. The texts were written in Latin. Four years later LA DANSE MACABRE was postponed. The highlight is probably the gothic musical RAPPACINI'S TOCHTER of 2009, which was more than fifty times on stage. Until 2011 the band toured with this musical. So now the fourth album of the band appears. HOUSE OF USHER is based on a famous short story by Edgar Allan Poe.
The album starts with the bombastic intro "Le Coeur", dominated by chorus strings. The title song "House Of Usher" is a midtempo song, also with a lot of orchestral bombast, banging guitar riffs and an outstanding singing duet from clear female and male voices (Alma Mathar and Oliver Bandmann). To the beautiful ballad "Madeline" the band has released a lyric video. At the beginning Alma is accompanied by the piano. Later, the strings are subtly inserted. Then the song goes over into a power ballad, which is rounded off by a filigree quiet guitar solo. For me, one of the highlights of the album.
"Fear" is rocking again. The singing is accompanied by powerful guitars and orchestral passages. Again, makes a guitar solo for the final touch. "The Haunted Palace" is another beautiful ballad, where first acoustic guitars underline the singing. "Can You Hear The Demons" has quite airplay qualities because of its catchiness. Above all, the chorus encourages to sing along. With "Ethelred" the album sounds out. Here again, guitars re-engage in interplay with orchestral passages and epic choruses for tension arcs.
When RAPPACINI'S TOCHTER had to be listened to intensively, HOUSE OF USHER is much more commercial. In a preliminary discussion, Alexander explained to me that the album would rather be connected to the now no longer available second work LA DANSE MACABRE and thus be considered as its successor. The fourteen songs (without intro) are true symphonic metal masterpieces. But the length is also the curse of the album. In their musical structure they are quite similar. I miss a few rough edges, or the one or the other surprise effect. Less would have been more. But that is whining at a very high level. At the end of the day, Aeternitas has published a very good album, which makes me curious about a live performance of the band.
Madeline Lyric Video: https://youtu.be/yXtkwvcjvx0
Alma Mathar – Vocals
Oliver Bandmann – Vocals
Alexander Hunzinger - Guitar, Background Vocals
Anja Hunzinger - Keyboard
Daniel T. Lentz - Guitar
Stefan Baltzer - Bass
Frank Mölk - Drums
Label: Massacre Records
Out: 21. Oktober 2016
House Of Usher
The Haunted Palace
Can You Hear The Demons
Open Your Eyes