“Eternity of Shaog”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Just about everything concerning ESOCTRILIHUM is long-winded. I’m surprised that the album title isn’t 20 words long, since their last album was called “The Telluric Ashes of the O Vrth Immemorial Gods”. “Eternity of Shaog” has a bit briefer name, but that’s where brevity ends. This new album is pretty tiring to listen to, although certainly not without merit.

The sole creation of a guy named Asthaghul, ESOCTRILIHUM opts for an extremely experimental and progressive brand of black metal. The compositions are mostly long and wandering, moving through a wide variety of riffs, tempos and vocal styles. Whereas the previous album was progressive yet still relatively conventional, “Eternity of Shaog” sees Asthaghul playing around with unusual instrumentation more. Most striking is the use of violin on 3rd track “Aylowenn Aela”(That’s the abbreviated form of the song all the others here, it’s about as long as a phone book in actuality). It’s like something from the 20th century avant-garde stitched together with a metal track. Track 4 “Shtg” focuses on piano and keyboard sounds.

This is still a very metallic and often extreme album, but the length of the songs and album in general kind of burns you out. It’s just too damn long. The best way to listen to this is probably to break the album up into thirds. To listen to it straight through is tiring and made me kind of overlook some of the rather clever construction of these songs.

Needless to say, this is an I, Voidhanger release. A challenging listen to say the least…