Hailing from Quebec, Canada, Aeternam is a symphonic death metal band with folk influences. Five years since their sophomore album Moongod, the group returns with Ruins of Empires. Focusing their lyrical content on ancient civilizations and anti-religious themes, the album is the soundtrack to the fall of past empires. With a range of clean choruses, soaring solos and crushing death metal riffs, this release has a lot going on.
Tracks like Damascus Gate and The Keeper of Shangri-La center themselves on a more folk metal vibe that sets themselves apart from the more melodic death metal sounding tracks like Paropamisadae and Praetor of Mercury. Each track features folk like orchestrations which set the vibe to the journey this album takes you on. The vocals go between death metal growls and clean singing which work well together through the album. The album also features choirs in some of the tracks such as Colossus. Certain parts of the song have a Septic Flesh vibe with the use of keyboards and choirs. The guitar riffs can go between heavy and fast to beautiful and melodic with each track. The musicianship through out this album is a truly brilliant display.
This album is hard to truly describe as it really does have more layers to it than one could truly put into words. The track Nightfall on Numidia is a track that is both beautiful and expressive as what could be the soundtrack to the story the band portrays in this album alone. The dual male and female cleans and vocalizations along with the folk melodies give this Canadian band top regards in musicianship and originality. If you are a fan of Septic Flesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Nile or just really good symphonic death metal with folk influence done right, this album is worth a listen as I know I’ll be playing this album on repeat for quite some time.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Neil Andersen