I’ve been following these guys ever since their debut self-titled EP in 2019 and each of their releases has so far managed to exceed my high expectations. The debut full length Moonlit Cross easily topped my annual top-albums list with its fantastic take on classic heavy metal with a sinister and ominous mood. Fortunately, we only had to wait for 20 months (thank you good people at Ván Records for making it 18 for me!) for its follow-up Fatale, which will be released next Friday.
If it is only now you’re hearing of the band, well, first of all, be ashamed, but on a serious note, try to imagine a cross between Mercyful Fate, Tribulation and Unto Others. While these bands are an obvious reference point, The Night Eternal are quite capable of creating a sound and presence of their own, with instantly recognizable strengths like the theatrical and emotional vocals of Ricardo Baum or the very Seventies-influenced lead guitars by Rob Richter. The album opens with the dramatic mid-tempo head-shaker In Tartarus, followed by the faster and more aggressive Prince Of Darkness, which demonstrates the band’s ability to play with structure and sequence, rarely relying on the verse, pre-chorus, chorus cliché. The Night Eternal’s songs also stand on an impressive rhythm section foundation, which adds a lot of power and punch. The maidenesque Ionean Sea is built upon a fantastic guitar melody, being somehow a spiritual brother to Son Of Sin from the previous album. Stars Guide My Way adds even more darkness and gothic romanticism to the sound palette, with Ricardo once again raising everything to another level. Run With The Wolves is where parallels in mood to Tribulation and Unto Others can be found, while Prometheus Unbound is easily the heaviest song of the bunch, with relentless tempo, mesmerizing melodies and some haunting and very appropriately interweaved backing vocals in the pre-chorus. Impressive stuff.
The Requiem serves as a short instrumental intro to the closing epic Between The Worlds, which ends the album with another masterclass in metal, the repeated chorus adding a hymnal trance-like impression, over the powerful layers of guitars. Fatale is a triumph, also (and very importantly) because of the masterful contributions by producer Marco Brinkmann and mastering by Arthur Rizk, who have given these songs even more depth and presence. Don’t think twice and grab this album, because The Night Eternal is simply a phenomenon of talent among the new metal generation of bands founded less than ten years ago. As for the end-of-the-year list, well, this will be so hard to beat.