Ethir Anduin are a productive formation, formed in 2006 in Leningrad by Alexey ‘Fenrir’ Veselov (currently also in Bestial Deform, by the way). Throughout this decade, Ethir Anduin (being a solo-outfit) recorded and released quite some stuff, including a hand full of full-length studio albums (many of them being self-released) (amongst them: I Magen Av Svart Kaos – link below)
More Hate Productions and Symbol Of Domination Productions did work together many times before, and they decided to collaborate once more in order to release this newest Ethir Anduin album, which is called Loneliness Of My Life. The result is an eight-tracker that lasts for seventy minutes (about eight to eleven minutes per song). The compact disc, printed in 500 copies, comes with a four-page booklet, and seen that this project is an instrumental one, there are, evidently, no lyrics included. The cover artwork has something tolkienish, yet seen the moniker of the project (named after the delta of the river Anduin in the southern regions of Gondor in Middle-Earth), that is not a surprise.
Loneliness Of My Life is, well, how to put it. I have to admit that I have never been that thrilled by any of the last Ethir Anduin releases – though I did certainly not dislike them ethir, eh, I mean either. I was always missing something, waiting for something to come – something that eventually did not come at all (or not completely). Something that the more funereal first releases did have, yet which did disappear, unfortunately. Well, with this album, and after several listens, I finally found what I was looking for once again since a couple of years. And damn yes, that’s great to experience.
In some way, Ethir Anduin can convince me the whole of the time. Is there something different in comparison to the (recent) past? Well, yes and no.
No, for Loneliness Of My Life still brings a very melodious and timeless form of (Black) Metal. The basic ingredients are the same. All compositions are of the so-called ‘Atmospheric’ kind, with firm and little heavy structures, a lot of floating melodies (great leads, dual / duelling riffing, and a handful of convincing solos), mesmerizing synth lines, and pounding rhythms. The tempo is quite slow, flirting with the most epic expression of Doom, interspersed with several harsher excerpts.
Yes, because of several reasons. And I know that what follows isn’t but a personal, and therefor subjective element, but, how to put it, I de feel it this time. The compositions are much more well-thought, much more professional in both song writing and execution. There is a lot more to experience, with an increased adultery in performance. I’ll give Life Is Punishment as an example, with so many details to unravel. The better part of this song is based on pretty intense yet ambient structures. But you have that sudden quasi-blasting outburst, the subtle injection of acoustics, and the dark, gloomy spheres veiled around the pushing core. The ability to search for, and find, a great balance in between semi-acoustic moments and pounding passages, in between integer moments and combative ones, and in between slower and funereal fragments and technical elegance, has not been that pronounced for years.
This example is a fragment of almost each single piece on this album. All tracks do have that convincing, even intriguing character, with many things to explore, many elements to dissect. The huge variation is mostly coherent this time, organically cohesive and never pathetically exaggerated. …which is another example of the positive evolution. Besides, the sound quality is simply great. The whole sounds powerful and overwhelming, yet not fake surgically clean (still maintaining that rough-edged rawness). Within the mix, every single detail, every single instrument involved plays its own, mostly important, role. Once again I have to mention ‘organic’. I think it’s wonderful to hear the bass lines supporting the melodies so intensely. I think it’s great to feel that the keyboards at the background are more than simply supportive, yet being part of the totality to create this semi-spiritual sphere. And it is oh so fine to notice that the whole package acts like one fabulous naturally-sounding sonic journey.
Anyway, I can conclude easily with: Loneliness Of My Life for sure might be the best Ethir Anduin recording to date. It’s a thrilling experience with a lot to discover. Once again, it isn’t but my personal opinion, but this might be the start of a new future. I hope Fenrir, the guy behind this solo-outfit, will continue this way, for I do already look forward listening to the new album (whenever it is foreseen).