New England Black Metal at its Finest
That’s exactly what Eave evokes on their third full-length album, which was released by
Bindrune Recordings earlier this year. The Connecticut-based quartet fluctuate between slow
and somber sections and massive moments of majesty, fully embodying the ethos of atmoblack,
on this new release that shows incredible growth since their previous album, Phantoms Made
Permanent. Overall, Fervor shoots for the moon and man did they nail it.
Eave begins building the mood within the first few seconds of opener “Past Pulses.” A sole
arpeggiated guitar followed by a sole snare drum, rapping a slow roll reminiscent of a marching
band, before the second guitar joins in to add body to the arrangement. Everything about the
first minute is all about the build, so when drummer Gabriel Shara beckons the drop with a quick
snare fill and everything erupts at the one-minute mark, you can feel it.
You also sure as heck can hear the anguish and intensity behind singer-bassist Brian Tenison’s
screams, which convey harshness and grit amidst an otherwise-ethereal, tremolo-rich
soundscape created by the instruments. Eave has mastered the rise and fall of atmoblack,
making each song a journey for the listener to embark upon.
Piercing Screams and Thick Guitars
“Mirroring” is a standout, rolling in with a slow chord progression and thick guitar tone that
shows you don’t need breakneck speeds to make heavy music. Before long, the song strips
away everything but guitar feedback and a quiet arpeggio, again demonstrating their mastery of
musical ebb and flow; that is, until Tenison breaks the near silence with a piercing scream and
Shara brings the thunder with an up-tempo rhythm.
My personal favorite is “Stale Ash,” which features more of Eave’s trademark rhythms adding in
a, dare I say, “groovy” guitar fill in the middle section that’s as juicy as it is infectious. I haven’t
touched a guitar in some time, but a fill like that inspires the latent musician in me to pick up a
six-string and give it a go.
The polarizing track comes in the form of “Shards,” which is very much an odd man out on
Fervor. You’ll immediately notice it’s different, not only from the notably shorter length of the
track, but by the faster tempo and additional vocals, courtesy of Shara, which seem more
indicative of a death metal styling rather than atmoblack.
Shoegaze Can Be Heavy
All that said, I actually liked “Shards.” On my first listen, it seemed to interrupt the Fervor
experience that Eave had been building on the preceding tracks, but subsequent listens made
me really appreciate the change of pace. Besides, Eave returns to form after the 2-minute mark
with a section that works the shoegaze elements right back, until they erupt into another heavier
section to close out the track.
Atmospheric black metal purists might criticize “Shards” for this “interruption,” but I praise the
band for taking a risk and, in my personal opinion, I think it pays off big time. “Shards” alsoserves as Fervor’s penultimate track, setting the stage for closer “Into Perdition” to bring back the arpeggios, tremolos, shrieks, and screams that Eave invited you to fall in love with on all previous tracks.
And, man, what a closer it is. “Into Perdition” effortlessly weaves ethereal soundscapes with fury
and intensity, simultaneously showing unbridled aggression and calculated restraint as the song
moves smoothly through its 6-plus-minute runtime. “Into Perdition,” in a way, serves as a
microcosm for Fervor as a whole, so, for new fans, I recommend listening to just this one track
and, if you like it, you’re essentially guaranteed to like the rest.
For its many victories and few, if any, shortcomings, we’re awarding Eave a 9/10.
Overall Score: 9/10
Review by: Chris Covello