Fatum Aeternun

Album Title: 
This Dream Is Dead
Release Date: 
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Review Type: 

History as it, that this Tel Aviv based Israeli Sympho-Goth Metal band was originally conceived as a Folk band by Steve Gershon (mandolin, bass & vocals), Ze'ev Gut fiddle & vocals) and Olga Braverman (flute & vocals) and was described as a Renaissance Metal act due to the use of Renaissance and Medieval motifs played in a Metal-Crossover style.

Completing the line-up in those beginning days, were guitarist Dan Yoffe, viola player Rivka Aizenberg, and drummer Iliya Surnin. The band immediately threw itself on the live circuit, and its activities were of a such frequency that they got noted and invited to play at a music festival (an event arranged by and fr the Russian-speaking community in Israel) at the Sea Of Gelilee, in Kursik, during their formation year of 2006. in the years that followed, Gershon continued to write songs, and worked on 'em with an constantly changing line-up. Of the original founding trio, Braverman was the first to leave in 2007, followed by Gut in 2008. the latter however stayed in touch with the band, frequently participated to concerts, and even guested during recordings. Due to economic reasons, the live line-up was at a certain moment reduced to the essential quartet, with keyboards and classical instruments recorded to a backing tape. During 2008, the band released its debut EP Dark Glamour, and its Pop Rock/ Synth Pop tunes came as quite a surprise to the band's usual audience, who had found the band sticking to the Gothic attitude throughout its career. Next up, Gershon was found playing gigs all over the place at an incredible rate. He achieved that by playing intimate acoustic shows, using different musicians to back him each time. Later, Gershon would state that his reason for employing this method for performing was due to the fact that the band members all had the unfulfilled desire to be the center of attention. In 2009, he got so tired of the band's instability, that he decided to disband Fatum Aeternum.

At the same time, he felt bad about letting the songs he'd written go to waste, so he made the decision to record a bunch of the songs for a so-called “memorial album”. So he invited Yoffe and Igor Sherman to play the guitar parts, and one Evelyn Shor to do the female vocals. In the end, this created a new stable core for the line-up, and from then on the material was developed by all band members, Shor also taking on the task of playing the violin. The new line-up (I'm not sure who was used as a drummer at that time) not only played several shows in Israel throughout the year 2010, but also continued to work on the recordings, eventually releasing it as a digital album only. But the band was not satisfied with the result, and kept working on the recordings until releasing it digitally in June 2011 (a physical release was done on January 31, 2012). as a result (I guess), the band was given the opportunity to perform its first international appearance on September 24th, at the 12thChildren Of The Night” Gothic festival in Kiev, Ukraine. Sharing the stage with the likes of Waves Under Water and Diary Of Dreams, FA was given a warm and positive feedback from the local press. In Europe however the album got a rather cold reception, with critics stating the production to be muddy-catastrophic, the keyboard and violin sounds standard, guitar riffs powerless, and the mid-tempo songs overall quite boring!

Well, the production IS not quite optimal, and bugged me personally a bit at first listen too. I'll also admit that some of the keyboard and violin played doés sound relatively standard and, due to the production, quite some of the guitar licks lack power. However, those having uttered those statements had better listen to the album some more, and listen more closely this time! I mean, with another production, this album would actually be raved about! Both singer have a wacky vocal signature, and the guitarists definitely are well tuned into each other. End conclusion, this is not an easy album to start appreciating, and I'm not surprised that today's consumer music journalists think faintly about the album. However, let the material grow on you, and you will find a thing of beauty. Sure, as far as production and final mix goes, the band still has a couple of things to learn...and from the European criticism so far, that seems an evident statement to make, but s far as the music goes, I would be the last to discourage this band. In fact, I would love to hear this material again, done with decent production.

Updates/ Additional info : in 2012, the band made its first video for the song “Apocalypse Now”, launching it on YouTube on April 6. Submitted to MTV Israel in June, it was broadcast on the last episode of the Betzefer's Headbangers Ball show on June 28. Drummer on the album was one Mark Muzikant, whom has since been replaced by Vadim Weinstein. In the second part of last year, the band recorded an EP entitled The Sermon at Northampton, UK's infamous The Lodge Recording Studio (it has served in the past for recordings by the likes of Fields Of The Nephilim, Kim Wilde, Paradise Lost, and others). Drummer on this session was Matt Snowden, session drummer & sound engineer whom previously worked with Amy Whitehouse, Julian Lennon, Pete Townshend, and others. As far as I know, the EP was self-released in September of last, and in that same month, FA supported Norway's Apoptygma Berserk. I'd sure love to hear that EP, you know, because I'm guessing it realized the potential that this band hid so well under the lousy production of their full-length! The final rating is a summing up of that potential, with points subtracted for the unfortunately bad production!