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Rating:
7.0
Ea - Ea
5 March 2012


01. Ea


And the "Living In A Box" crown for repetitiveness* goes to… Ea, lord of the deeps, for the Ea, Ea, "Ea" trifecta. Ea features one lone, solitary, monolithic track with a two letter name in which the band plays some 47 minutes of doom.

Perhaps it was a case of exceedingly high expectations, but I found this ambitious piece disappointing.

"Ea" has everything one might expect in some experimental exercise in extended extreme doom. We've got stark, foreboding piano; we have washes of keyboard; quiet moments; crushing distorted guitar riffs; growled vocals; and splashing in puddles (yep!)… The problem is it is all there in one ridiculously long, meandering, almost directionless song, but nothing about it really stood out.

Naked, low piano notes signal impending misery before being followed by crushing doom with growled vocals which gives way to a couple minutes of church organ and choral vocals gives way back to slow, distorted, sinister guitar riff which grows into synth coated choral vocals with said riff, then guitar solo followed by growls and choral synth with melancholic lead….

Ok, I'll stop for a moment here after the loneliness of the long distance run-on, but that is kind of a decent representation of how the album feels. Like the Energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going and going…

Truthfully, the music is very good and enjoyable when taken down to the component parts. There isn't really anything wrong with the execution or sound, beyond some flat sounding drums. It all sound lush at times, sparse at others, warm here, ominous there… It just doesn't feel entirely coherent. For example at the 16:30 mark, a clean guitar section sounds finds the introduction of a gently flowing stream, which lasts for 25 seconds… then is gone as quickly as it came. Perhaps there is some deep symbolism going on for the whole long piece - like a hike down into the riff-filled land and maybe passing a babbling brook on the way - but if it is not one to which the listener is privy, it comes across disjointed.

The net result is despite all the wonderful components and beauty, the entire thing is a tad ephemeral. It doesn't suck you in and drag you under, so much as just dances a tad out of reach. On that level, it is a great album to put on come bed time… it's been on my mp3 player for the last week when it's time to crash.


*While the aforementioned British band named the band, the record, and the hit song, you guessed it, "Living In A Box."

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 05.04.2012 by
Xnoybis
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by Xnoybis ››



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Milena - 06.04.2012 at 00:22  
*coming for the mandatory unrelated comment*
"Living In A Box" is one of the theme songs of my sister and me. All my fault though.

Nice review, I liked the extremely clean and innocent Energizer Bunny analogy.
Merchant of Doom - 06.04.2012 at 11:21  
Personally, I think it's a great album if taken in isolation, but as a continuation of EA's work is a tad disappointing, because there is no progression at all in the music from the previous album. It's a style non easily digestible to the majority, but definitely a good late nightcap, as you say. To me it's an 8.0
.
Ozman - 06.04.2012 at 11:29  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 06.04.2012 at 11:21

It's a style non easily digestible to the majority...


This is the easiest kind of doom to digest, on a par with Shape Of Despair's accessibility
Merchant of Doom - 06.04.2012 at 11:35  
Written by Ozman on 06.04.2012 at 11:29

Written by Merchant of Doom on 06.04.2012 at 11:21

It's a style non easily digestible to the majority...


This is the easiest kind of doom to digest, on a par with Shape Of Despair's accessibility


yes, Marcel, I agree, but I meant "to the majority of metal fans", not people into doom...
Ag Fox - 06.04.2012 at 19:22  
I thought it's the Duracell Bunny...? o.o
!J.O.O.E.! - 06.04.2012 at 19:33  
Written by Ag Fox on 06.04.2012 at 19:22

I thought it's the Duracell Bunny...? o.o

So did I but apparently it's both:

Duracell / Energizer
Troy Killjoy - 06.04.2012 at 22:59  
Really can't wait to check this out for myself.
IronAngel - 21.06.2012 at 01:15  
I'm still having to force myself to listen to this. I've spun it a fair few times over the past months, but nothing about it really sticks. I admit I don't generally even enjoy these kinds funeral doom bands (never could get excited about Shape of Despair), so I may not be the best person to judge. Still, I've enjoyed Towards Darkness a lot more this year, as far as funeral doom goes. It has a better atmosphere, more hooks, and it just feels more crushing. I guess that's the only two purely FD albums I've heard from 2012.

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