Thursday, 4 April 2013

Eternal Elysium - Highflyer EP (Review)


Album Type : EP
Date Released : October 2012
Label : Cornucopia


Highflyer, EP tracklisting:

1) Highflyer
2) Map
3) Circulation
4) Highflyer - Down Not Out 

Bio
Since its formation in 1991, continues to be a resident of the rock.  BLACK SABBATH.  NWOBHM. Sound was initially influenced by the NWOBHM scene and BLACK SABBATH, 70's Rock, Doom/Stoner.  While to clarify the attributes of Doom / Stoner 70's Rock and the pursuit of sound gradually, I have been exploring the artistic direction that incorporates a wide range of music and more. .
1996 : 1st Album "FAITHFUL" (Eclipse/Cornucopia) 1996: 1st Album "FAITHFUL" (Eclipse / Cornucopia)
1998 : Compilation "DOOMDAY RECITATION" (Cornucopia) 1998: Compilation "DOOMDAY RECITATION" (Cornucopia)
2000 : 2nd Album "SPILITUALIZED D" (MeteorCity/People Like You) 2000: 2nd Album "SPILITUALIZED D" (MeteorCity / People Like You)
2002 : 3rd Album "SHARE" (MeteorCity/People Like You) 2002: 3rd Album "SHARE" (MeteorCity / People Like You)
2002 : US TOUR w/WITCH MOUNTAIN 2002: US TOUR w / WITCH MOUNTAIN
2003 : Split CD w/OF THE SPACISTOR (Cornucopia) 2003: Split CD w / OF THE SPACISTOR (Cornucopia)
2005 : 4th Album "SEARCHING LOW & HIGH" (Diwphalanx) : recorded by Mathias Shneeberger at Dooner & Blitzen, Arcadia, CA, USA 2005: 4th Album "SEARCHING LOW & HIGH" (Diwphalanx): recorded by Mathias Shneeberger at Dooner & Blitzen, Arcadia, CA, USA
2005 : US TOUR 2005: US TOUR
2005 : Japan Tour w/NEBULA 2005: Japan Tour w / NEBULA
2006 : Japan Tour w/ACID KING 2006: Japan Tour w / ACID KING
2006 : US Tour w/ ACID KING, BLACK COBRA 2006: US Tour w / ACID KING, BLACK COBRA
2007 : Split CD w/BLACK COBRA (Diwphalanx) 2007: Split CD w / BLACK COBRA (Diwphalanx)
2007 : Japan Tour w/BLACK COBRA 2007: Japan Tour w / BLACK COBRA
2008 : 10 inch Vinyl "MYSTERIOUS VIEWS IN STONE GARDEN" (Electric Earth) 2008: 10 inch Vinyl "MYSTERIOUS VIEWS IN STONE GARDEN" (Electric Earth)
2008 : Japan Tour w/ REVELATION 2008: Japan Tour w / REVELATION
2009 : 5th Album "WITHIN THE TRIAD" (Diwphalanx) : recorded by Mathias Shneeberger at Dooner & Blitzen, Arcadia, CA, USA 2009: 5th Album "WITHIN THE TRIAD" (Diwphalanx): recorded by Mathias Shneeberger at Dooner & Blitzen, Arcadia, CA, USA
2009 : US TOUR w/BLACK COBRA 2009: US TOUR w / BLACK COBRA
2010 : EU TOUR w/PLACE OF SKULLS 2010: EU TOUR w / PLACE OF SKULLS
2010 : "WITHIN THE TRIAD" : EU issue (2LP, CD - Headspin Records) 2010: "WITHIN THE TRIAD": EU issue (2LP, CD - Headspin Records)
2011 : "SEARCHING LOW & HIGH" : US issue (2LP - Hydro-Phonic Records) 2011: "SEARCHING LOW & HIGH": US issue (2LP - Hydro-Phonic Records)
2011 : JAPAN TOUR 2011: JAPAN TOUR
2012 : 4 Songs CDEP "HIGHFLYER" (Cornucopia) 2012: 4 Songs CDEP "HIGHFLYER" (Cornucopia)
2012 : Japan Tour w/SardoniS 2012: Japan Tour w / SardoniS
2012 : Split CD w/SardoniS (Hammerheart) 2012: Split CD w / SardoniS (Hammerheart


Review



Japanese psychedelic doom stalwarts Eternal Elysium have had two releases out in the past six months or so.  The first blast of this twin missile strike is a split with SardoniS released in early October which was reviewed recently on this fine blog.  The second was the ‘Highflyer’ EP released in late October, which will be our point of focus here today.
Though they’ve been around since ’91, this is my first exposure to the band.  Theirs is a highly distinctive sound, fusing Black Sabbath riffs with Monster Magnetic craziness, bordering at times on a drug-fueled late-sixties psych prog sound.   This band will make you hear the colors and taste the music, the driving rhythms which characterise this disc leave a strobe light through stage smoke taste in the mouth, if you can dig it.   Blankets of wah-knitted distortion cover the listener until all remnants of consciousness are surrendered to the music.
‘Highflyer’ is a colorful record, bursting with polychrome textures laid out by the free-flowing guitar work of Yukito Okazaki whose psychedelic exuberance is undercut by the devastating swinging blade of low end heaviness provided by bassist Tana Haugo.  The opening, title track is sure to slice you up and laugh while doing it.  It’s the definite highlight of the disc with iron horse galloping rhythms reminiscent of White Zombie, guaranteed to leave an impression on the listener.
“Map” dusts off a bit of the heaviness in favor of psychotropic atmosphere during the bridge.   The watchword here is dynamics.  Eternal Elysium takes the listener to the top floor of constantly increasing excitement levels.   Melodic vocals, sung in Japanese, lift the listener to a higher spiritual plane while the crashing heaviness smashes the listener back down to earth.  The punishment brought about by the heaviness of the guitars is made more powerful by the beauty of the vocal melody
“Circulation” is also sung manically, this time in English and has some great riffs.  It’s clear that 20 plus years of crushing eardrums has sharpened the instincts of the band.  Riffs build one upon the other and open up like doors of perception through winding corridors of mind alteration, which like the “future, [are] completely white”.
On closing instrumental track, “Highflyer – Down Not Out”, a hard-boiled noir detective feeling is teleported to the Arabian Desert, creating a one of a kind sonic experience.  Tasteful use of horns and careful sensitivity to atmosphere create an almost George Gershwin “Rhapsody in Blue” effect.  It’s quite the way to go out.
‘Highflyer’ exhumes the old bones and memories of Eternal Elysium’s contemporary bands like Sleep, White Zombie and Monster Magnet in a thoroughly convincing and original way.  Stoner and doom fans will dig this EP if they haven’t already, there’s still plenty of life left in those old bones after all.
Words by : Lucas Klaukien

As always show your support to the band. You can buy the CD here.  Thanks to Tana from EE for sending the EP.



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