Grandiose Malice and The Eternal Infernal have a story of sorrow and brotherhood behind their conception and subsequent release. Originally recorded as a demo by Steve Childers (aka Tregenda) of Black Witchery fame, the music was left in the hands of some of his close friends at the time of his passing. As a tribute to Steve, Matt Glaser (Shadowgrove) put together drums and vocals for the album, and Joshua Freemon mastered it. The end result is what seems like a cohesive album put together by a full band. I have nothing but respect for everyone involved in this project. In this modern world where so many people in the “underground” scene seem like they’re trying to prove something, being treated to a release this honest is refreshing.
That’s not to say this is a perfect album, in fact it is far from it. As an album that focuses more on being mid-paced, several of the tracks tend to wearily plod on, and being someone who is easily distracted, I sometimes find myself wandering around in my mind for a couple of minutes before returning to the music. Fortunately there are only a couple of tracks like that here (“Bell, Book And Chalice” being one), and most of my time with the music on The Eternal Infernal has remained positive. I do have one other gripe with this album, which is how loud and abrasive it is – while that generally works for me with extreme metal, it ends up feeling a bit nauseating while approaching the middle to back end of this particular album, making full listens difficult.
It is much easier to treat The Eternal Infernal as if it were 2 EPs, and listen to the first half in a sitting and return to the second half later on, as I start feeling worn out by “Days Of Our Lies”. Fortunately memorable moments still happen later on, as the final riff on “Bone Dance” is aurally caustic and a fantastic way to close out the song. Combined with some fine bass playing its solid evidence that even when this album starts to feel dull it’ll still throw some wrenches in the gears. Even then, the first half still shines much brighter for me.
I might forget about this album in a years’ time (or less) but that’s not to say I wouldn’t revisit it later on, as it does have enough great moments. I don’t want to be biased, though, and praise it solely on the fact that it is a lovingly composed epitaph of sorts to a fallen warrior. As always, I must keep my opinion about only the music, after all that’s what you’re reading this review for.
Give this album a listen if you need a testosterone boost, it’s definitely chock full of that! It’s also worth checking out if you need some great no frills extreme music with some talented musicians doing what they are best at – the entire album is some respectable black/death metal peppered with ingredients from all over the spectrum of metal. While the history behind the band/album is somber it is also deserving of nothing less than sincere respect. Assembling an album that was essentially incomplete in memory of a fallen brother with results like this is a magnificent accomplishment in itself, and serves the memory of Steve Childers proudly. Rest in power, Steve!
Find this one right here!