Feb 152024

(Andy Synn offers some insight into A Giant Bound to Fall, out tomorrow on Transcending Obscurity)

Spanish sensations Eternal Storm have found themselves in an interesting position in the run-up to the release of their long-awaited, highly-anticipated, second album, A Giant Bound to Fall.

The group’s first full-length, 2019’s fantastic Come the Tide, was such a breath of fresh air in a segment of the scene which had, for the most part, grown rather stagnant that many outlets (including this one) declared it to be one of the best albums of the year.

But success like that can be just as much of a curse as a blessing, setting such a high bar – one inevitably raised even higher by the sheer flush of excitement engendered by a new discovery – that nothing they ever do afterwards will ever be judged to match it.

And with the not-insignificant gap between their first and second releases having raised audience expectations ever further, the question now is – can Eternal Storm recapture that same Melodic Death Metal magic from their debut or are they… bound to fall?

Intriguingly enough, the answer to both those questions is… no.

Because on A Giant Bound to Fall the band haven’t tried to directly replicate the sound, or the success, of Come the Tide but have, instead, opted for the far more difficult – but potentially far more gratifying, in the long-run at least – task of expanding and further defining their own distinct identity.

Let’s face it, if there was one (relatively minor) criticism which one could level at the group prior to this it’s that they did occasionally wear their various (primarily Finnish) influences on their sleeves a little too boldly and blatantly (not that this prevented them from a name for themselves by any means).

But on songs like titanic first-half highlight “Last Refuge” and the organically-evolving, Dan Swanö-featuring strains of “The Sleepers” Eternal Storm haven’t just expanded their creative palette (incorporating subtle hints of seminal forebears like Disillusion and Dissection alongside a wealth of seamlessly integrated ambient and electronic elements, as well as some enchanting, and infinitely improved, clean vocals redolent of Amiensus at their most poignantly progressive) they’ve refined and re-defined a sound that they can start to call their own.

It’s not a perfect album, by any means – blast-propelled penultimate track “The Void” plays things a little too safe for my liking, and there are a few sections (particularly the overly drawn-out intro) of otherwise excellent opener “An Abyss of Unreason” that probably could/should have been snipped or smoothed over – but I, for one, would much prefer that Eternal Storm continue to push themselves out of their comfort zone like this and produce something imperfectly ambitious rather than create something perfectly adequate.

I’m sure there will be many who disagree and would have been more than happy with Come the Tide, Part 2, just as I’m sure there will be a number of people reading this who won’t appreciate or accept that A Giant Bound to Fall is anything less than a “masterpiece” (by far the most egregiously over-used, and largely meaningless, word in music writing today), but by opting not to take the easy road, embracing the uncertainty of the future rather than the safety of the past, Eternal Storm have made the sort of artistic choice that I wish more bands were brave enough to make.

More than anything, then, what you really need to bear in mind when listening to A Giant Bound to Fall is that Eternal Storm aren’t just playing “Melodic Death Metal” here – they’ve already done that once, and pretty much nailed it the first time around – they’re striving to move beyond such limited definitions and create something (as epitomised by the sumptuous slow-burn of “There Was A Wall” or the awe-inspiring, almost Agalloch-adjacent, ambitions of the title-track) that offers a deeper and more demanding, but ultimately longer-lasting and more rewarding, experience regardless of whatever boxes people might try (and fail) to put them in.

And while they might not be quite there yet, there’s ample proof here that Eternal Storm no longer need to stand on the shoulders of giants in order to reach their full potential… whatever form that may take… because they’re already more than capable of standing right alongside them.


  1. Great review! I totally agree with everything you’ve said. I was so excited for this album, and upon first listen I was disappointed that I wasn’t getting Come the Tide, part 2… But as the album progressed it started to grow on me more and I’m eager to listen again.

    It’s fine, even great, when a band has a sound and they deliver it again and again album to album. But I think it’s far more exciting to experience a band play with their sound and expand upon it in creative ways. I’m going to go listen again, because I’ve been thinking about it all day.

    This and the new Chapel of Disease album are going to be brought up again by yours truly come the end of the year, that’s for sure.

    Once again, great write up. Always enjoy reading your thoughts on music.

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