Album Review: XXIII (EP) – Ewigkeit


XXIII – Ewigkeit 

In their own words Ewigkeit‘s new short-player is a hazy 70’s Trip-Rock style homage to “The Illuminatus! Trilogy” (the legendary psyche-conspiracy adventure novel). It details the cartoonesque plan of the Illuminati to kill all hippies and take over the world by resurrecting a zombie army at Europe’s biggest Rock concert. The only people who can stop them are the Discordians, traversing the world in their giant submarine and trading cannabis to fund the war against the coming eschaton.

Ewigkeit is the long-running experimental Metal band of James Fogarty, who also performs Vocals / Guitars / Keys for Norwegian Progressive Metallers IN THE WOODS, vocals and keys for English Cult Black Metal band OLD FOREST, and is the main-brain behind dormant Heraldic Templar Metal band JALDABOATH (amongst other projects).

In the words of Your Grouchy Friend, Ewigkeit is a spectacular concept vision that is nothing if not entertaining. Does the concept carry the music? Does the music carry the concept? With its short running time and concise delivery it is incredibly convenient to jump right in at least once and find out. With its accessibility, hooks and easy-on-the-ear sounds you’ll more than likely jump back in a few times more for pure enjoyment and assembling the story for yourself.   

Bring the Eschaton” gets the proceedings rolling with the grooving seventies Rock vibes that permeate the whole EP. Simple and effective melodies both in terms of vocals and lead guitar work serve to hook nicely and if you’re not careful you’ll find yourself flipping and flopping in a waterless Illuminati nightmare. This is rhythm based Rock and there’s a sense of control about the entire experience that on the one hand creates a great vibe for the lyrical narrative but on the other may leave the listener feeling that a bit of urgency and terseness could have added so much more. That said there are parts of “Bring the Eschaton” that are just plain addictive: the slow breakdown to the refrain of “bring it on” really does sound cool as all hell and provides the listener the requisite candy to jump in for the ride. 

The slow head nodding, foot tapping tastiness continues with “God’s Lightning.” It’s not like anything here is revolutionary – if sweet grooving riffs and silky echoed vocal crooning are your thing Ewigkeit won’t disappoint. Lyrically the second track is denser than the first and the tale begins to pick up pace. This thing really does work and keeps you seeking out the threads of the story. It is well arranged and written, and a very deliberate piece of artistic clarity from Fogarty. 

God’s Lightning” slips seamlessly into “23” which is definitely a sword whose blade is double edged: at its midpoint the EP seems to meander a tad, seemingly a product of the level of repetitive lyric and melody in “23.” The tune chugs along nicely but lacks the grab of the other tracks in terms of the narrative – stylistically, as a concept EP there is some reliance on engaging with the lyrics and “23” loses the listener somewhat with a very subdued vocal melody and phrasing.

Black Space Suits” is another beast entirely. Musically it doesn’t shatter any earth but it has a great chorus that had Your Grouchy Friend mumbling its key lines to himself at odd moments throughout the days immersing in this one. You’ll likely feel this for yourself if you give it a shot…

…and don’t forget your moon boots.

Gravity Train to Agartha” has an incredibly sweet slap back echo on the opening vocal that seems to be swimming in a second echo. Listening on some high quality headphones will bring this to the fore and it’s this kind of sonic flag waving that reinforces that you’re in genre country… and it’s enjoyable stuff. As the train picks up pace that echo comes sweetly back and sounds a treat. In all honesty one really must give it up for the production effort on Ewigkeit’s “XXIII.” Creating a soundscape that homages successfully to seventies and stoner rock is easier said than done and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but presents an accessible and bite sized chunk of rocking goodness for those with the inclination to partake. 

For those looking for an EP that will at minimum give plenty of joy in the time frame of your average commute you really should do yourself a favour and jump into this one. It certainly doesn’t bite, and it may provide the perfect foil for your more extreme listening tendencies. James Fogarty has put together a solid EP here and one really must salute its concept, delivery and sonic fluency.

Rating – 4/5

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