Aug 30, 2011

Ekove Efrits - Conceptual Horizon ...

Hypnotic Dirge Records has always been amazing at finding these obscure bands that play unique heavy music. Bands that can't be tagged as one direction or another and Ekove Efrits are another one. For a kick-off this band is from Iran - yes you read right; that in itself is unique but musically this band have delivered an album that doesn't just blend genres, it sounds like it is trying to invent a new one all-together.

The only music even remotely close to rock from the Middle-East that I have heard are folk-tinged kind of outfits. This album is the complete antithesis of that. This album is a morbidly depressing mix of ambient doom, black-metal, and beautifully orchestrated, symphonic, cinematic music. On top of that it is all the work of one man who goes by the name of Count De Efrit. Along with many demos and a split, this is the third full-length from this project.

This album has 11 tracks lasting well over an hour but the tracks play out more like sections in a larger conceptual piece. The music is dark, depressing and melancholic but it is the melting pot of various metallic styles, classical and ambient music that ultimately wins you over. Also the only element that yells "one-man-band" is the drums which is obviously a drum-machine and the vocals which are not bad but they don't exactly enhance the music in the way they should.

Regardless of that; this album is an enchanting album despite its depressive value. There is great lead guitar parts, nice keys and it is really good at maintaining a hypnotic atmosphere throughout. Songs don't change much at all and you can be forgiven in losing track of where you are in the albums playing order. Songs do sound all the same at times and the albums extended running length makes it hard to stay interested for its entire duration.

There is some wonderful tracks; the eight minute 'A Celebration For Sorrow' really stands out. The way its moves from acoustic ambience to symphonic black metal and crippling doom all in the one song is stunning. 'Hills Of Ashes' is blackened classical music and is a fascinating piece of work. 'Faceless Moments' is one of the albums more black-metalish tracks but it is also a highlight here. This track starts off haunting then gets severely dramatic as the track progresses. Littered in among these tracks is other good tracks and a couple of fillers; 'Floating Energies From Nature' is one track that is almost a deal-breaker for me but luckily it has an interesting last couple of minutes that keeps me tuned in. This is mostly very captivating and extremely unique. While it gets a little boring at times as the songs are lengthy as is the album, Ekove Efrits is easily one of the best bands I have heard on the Hypnotic Dirge label. Hardly perfect but 'Conceptual Horizon' is an album I will keep going back to for a long time to come.......8/10

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