I’ve been a fan of Sear Bliss for quite a while. I love the way that they set themselves apart from other Black Metal bands through the use of trumpets in their sound (yes, TRUMPETS!). I was lucky enough to interview András Nagy last year and he said “I love the sound of brass. It fits perfectly to metal as it has such a harsh and powerful sound. Actually, brass fits much better to metal than stringed instruments like violin or cello.”. A listen to any previous Sear Bliss release will tell you that he was really onto something there. The use of trumpets in Black Metal really works. Anyway, after having gone crazy for every Sear Bliss release so far, I was keen to hear what Nagy and co had come up with for “Eternal Recurrence”.
The first thing I noticed about this album that it is very different to anything that the band has done before. It’s still Black Metal and there’s still a trumpet, but there’s a progressive element that wasn’t immediately noticable on previous albums. There’s also the use of sporadic clean vocals. Despite these changes, “Eternal Recurrence” is still very much a Sear Bliss album. It really couldn’t have been created by anyone else.
From the get-go, the album combines all of the aforementioned elements excellently. It’s what a progressive Black Metal record with trumpets and a jazz-like feel should sound like… if you can imagine such a thing. The end result is a grand and epic album, full of unexpected (yet welcome) surprises. A listen to this album is like taken a voyage into the unknown. Varying tempos, atmospheres and melodies guide the way, while harsh guitars, primal drums and vicious vocals attack and pull us in a multitude of directions. It’s a real oddity, but the risks Sear Bliss have taken have paid off in my opinion. I’m pleased to say there’s no weak point. Sear Bliss took their time with this record and it shows.
However, I do have the feeling that “Eternal Recurrence” will divide both avid fans and casual listeners. As I’ve already mentioned, this album is very different to albums like “Forsaken Symphony”, “Phantoms” and “Glory and Perdition” – it’s even several country miles away from Sear Bliss’ most recent album “The Arcane Odyssey”. This evolution of Sear Bliss’ sound is something that many will applaud the band for, while others will shun this release. Sadly, people fear change and this is a real shame. To put it bluntly, if you don’t listen to this album, you are missing out.
So, my advice to you is this: If you are already a Sear Bliss fan, give this album a chance. Give it a few decent listens and allow yourself to absorb it. If you’re new to Sear Bliss and are concerned about the use of certain instruments in extreme metal, buy this album and BRING ON THE TRUMPETS! (I apologise, that joke was terrible… and I think only Brits will get it…)