By Dr. Abner Mality

If you can't wait for the next albums from Nile and Melechesh, check out Australia's latest wizards of death Eternal Rest. While the band is not yet on the level of those mentioned above, they've issued quite a pleasing debut for those into complex, brutal metal with an Old World atmosphere.

The Nile comparisons are unavoidable and I'm sure Eternal Rest wouldn't dispute them. Lots of Middle Eastern/ Oriental style riffing and guitar theatrics predominate, mixing with cyclonic blasts of speed and malevolent doominess. The record opens with intro "First Gate"(Isten Bab) and the raging fury of "Preaching the Decimation of Spher", but my attention really started to peak with "Acts of the Unspoken". This track is a beautiful mix of fast and slow death metal, with a true feeling of oppression in the slower parts and some strong guitar melodies. The title track is another good example of a well-crafted song.

There is still kind of a well-worn feeling to the music, with very typical vocals and monotonous "machine gun" drumming. But on the whole, Eternal Rest have surprised me with a well-rounded album of death metal that has actual thought in it without going overboard on the technical stuff. I think this band has tremendous potential to grow.