Released in 2013, Futile is the debut album by Eudaimony, the new band formed by Ex-Dark Fortress frontman Matthias Jell, with Jörg Heemann (Secrets of the Moon) on drums, Marcus E. Norman (Naglfar) playing guitar, bass and keyboards, with Peter Honsalek (Ex-Nachtreich) performing piano and viola on the album. With Matthias Jell being my favourite black metal vocalist, and the albums he released with Dark Fortress being some of my favourite albums of all time, I had high expectation for this release. And it delivered in great fashion, being a superbly original melancholic Post-Black Metal album.
Their amalgamation of depressive black metal and post-rock is excellent, creating one of the most melancholic albums of last year, dark, tortured, and beautiful. Matthias’s vocals are outstanding as ever, his raspy voice delivering pure emotion; his voice is simply excellent, and he’s one of the clearest singers in the style, easy to understand. The tone of the guitars is excellent throughout the album, very trebly and dripping in heaviness and melancholic intensity, especially in “Futile” which is one of the best tracks on the album, an incredibly intense and epic track, with some incredible riffs. And while a lot of metal bands include strings as a gimmick, this isn’t the case here, with the viola playing taking the lead a lot during the music, and played excellently to produce a melancholic, desperate atmosphere.
The album isn’t strictly black metal, and in fact the band themselves claims “Eudaimony isn’t about Black Metal or any other specific genre, Eudaimony is about abysmal emotions with all the bleakness life has to give.” As such “Portraits” contains guest vocals from Mick Moss of Antimatter, his rich clean voice gives a passionate performance. The track is completely acoustic, with an acoustic guitar intro, with the piano and viola playing in the track giving it a fantastically melancholic atmosphere. It gives a great change of pace to the album, but ends up being dragged out just a little too long. “Godforsaken” is another mellow track, this time being mostly instrumental, with piano and viola providing the melodies, with a few whispered vocals towards the end. This one is also a little over-long and definitely drags, its the least interesting on the album.
Final track “December’s Hearse” is another brilliant black metal track, with excellent riffs intermingling with excellent piano and string sections to deliver a fantastic atmosphere, while Matthias Jell gives the most emotional performance on the album, and when the synth choirs come in towards the end it culminates in an incredible atmosphere and even at 8 and a half minutes it feels it fades out far too quickly.
This album is a very good debut for Eudaimony, but with the wealth of talent in the band, it isn’t a surprise they’ve delivered an album as complete as this. Despite the two mellower tracks seeming a little overlong, it’s a flaw that can easily be overlooked, and its a great album. Recommended to any fans of Depressive Black Metal, especially those who want something a little different.
Listen to “December’s Hearse” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwJJRk9haRo
Eudaimony on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eudaimony