THE DEMO CORNER
Five years have passed since Sear Bliss released an album, that being 2007’s The Arcane Odyssey. Up to that point, it seemed that the Hungarian band could do no wrong, including the incorporation of trumpets into the band’s sound. However, things have changed in the Sear Bliss camp, as the band experienced major turnover in its lineup in 2009, as only vocalist/bassist/keyboardist András Nagy remains from The Arcane Odyssey lineup, and three of the four new members were previously in Sear Bliss at some point in the band’s existence.
The natural question in all of that has gone on with Sear Bliss in the last five years is what do they have left in the tank? With a new album out in Eternal Recurrence, the answer is plenty, as their sound is just as potent as before, albeit a little darker.
One thing that long time Sear Bliss fans will notice is the inclusion of clean vocals to go along with the usual black metal vocals. On tracks such as “Entering the Seventh Gate” and “Ballad of the Shipwrecked,” the clean vocals are actually incorporated in a manner that fits the music, and is done so without overkill. The clean vocals also help to create a darker atmosphere within the Sear Bliss sound, further expanding the band’s hypnotizing sound. One thing that Sear Bliss has always done well is to create black metal that is catchy while maintaining a sense of identity without having to compromise on either side and Eternal Recurrence is no exception. The songs have a fair amount of consistency when it comes to running time, but given that the album is seven songs, the running time will leave the listener wanting more. Despite the running time, Sear Bliss makes the most out of the available time, as all of the songs have the right amount of epic sound to satisfy the listener while leaving them in anticipation of what is to come.
Even after five years away and a major overhaul in the lineup, Sear Bliss continues to stake its claim as one of the most underappreciated black metal bands today. Eternal Recurrence is the band’s triumphant return to the scene, and while it doesn’t quite grab the listener’s attention in the manner that albums such as The Haunting and The Arcane Odyssey do, it only shows just how different Sear Bliss’ standards are compared to other bands. A year end contender, to be sure, Eternal Recurrence is a must for long time Sear Bliss fans and newcomers alike.
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1. The Eternal Quest
2. Ballad of the Shipwrecked
3. Great Cosmic Disorder
4. A Lost Cause
5. The new Era of Darkness
6. There’s No Shadow Without Light
7. Entering the Seventh Gate
Total playing time: 37:37
Release Date: January 23, 2012
Label: Candlelight Records
Sear Bliss - Eternal Recurrence
March 23, 2012