|Aeternus - ...And So The Night Became
01. There's No Wine Like The Blood's Crimson
02. As I March
03. Warrior Of The Crescent Moon
05. When The Crow's Shadow Falls
06. Ild Dans
07. ...And So The Night Became
09. Raven And Blood [bonus]
10. Nordlys [bonus]
11. In The Darkest Circles Of Time [bonus]
Vicious, timeless, and like a wall of fire that appears to dance in your eyes as it suffocates you, ...And So The Night Became does not just retell epic battles of mere mortals, it personifies the essence of chaotic warfare with the superiority of a pitiless, mocking god. The blood here is ancient, the mountains barren and severe, and the echoing screams of the dying is relentless. Throughout it all, it leaves you not only at the brink of crushing defeat, but with a nostalgic tear in your eye for all those who have perished before you.
The album begins, and above an ominous synth passage comes a threatening voice that announces that even those who survive the suffering will become slaves to the war god himself. A fateful passage of Vrolok's war drums arrives, an eerie silence, and the battle begins! Ablaze in a mix of grueling, blackened death metal riffs and organic, callously rhythmic percussion, Aeternus not only announce their presence, they tower above the humans below. With the scoffing, howling vocals of Ares, the band's sound resonates like a hammer of death that drives fear into the hearts of even those who have died eons ago.
A lesser band at this point would have just repeated the same formula for the rest of the disc, but instead Aeternus push themselves higher, like a volcano that grows with each eruption. The riff that comes in a half minute into "Blodsverging" intertwined with cymbal crashes and relentless bass drums is that initially unnoticed type that a dozen listens later has the power to crush you to the wall only to have you scream for even more. Later, "Ild Dans" ("Fire Dance") offers the band's most comprehensive composing, filled with acoustic and electric guitar harmonies, a haunting solo, and a mix of slow, purposeful beats and Ares's howls balanced with his reverberating clean vocals.
Aeternus's success in ...And So The Night Became not only derives from its insistent aggressiveness, such as at the title track's beginning, but from the band's willingness to inject dark piano passages, courtesy of Morrigan, just a minute later, forsaking the immaturity that so many bands survive off with their arrangements. In fact, it's the lesser metal sections that enthrall me time and time again. The pensive acoustic guitar section at the start of "Warrior Of The Crescent Moon" is enough to bring me to one knee, and the blending of acoustic and electric guitar melodies in the first minutes of "When The Crow's Shadow Falls" feels like the moment of peace that all mortals reach as life slips out of their grasp.
...And So The Night Became marks the second of two harsh, decisive albums that are only matched by each other's visionary approach, and stand alone like a bloodstained, craggy cliff by a stormy sea. At once a ravaging, inescapable realization that our fate may be in the hands of a malevolent god, and simultaneously a masterful painting that hangs in the abyss between this land and hell below, ...And So The Night Became beautifully scowls as it stands proud with splendor.