(In mid-April the Munich-based “Oriental Extreme Metal” band Eridu released their expansive second album, and it caught the welcoming ear of our writer DGR, who prepared the following review.)
Heavy metal as a genre has been especially good at loaning itself out to bands who want to sound absolutely massive. The giant walls of distortion, the huge drums, the intimidating vocals, and big rumbling bass lines have often been a tool/weapon – depending on whose hands are wrapped around it – for groups to appear much larger in scope than they actually are. The ambition and reach of a genre like this are often used by groups wanting to appear cinematic in scale as part of their search for something grander than just the consistent ass-kicking that heavy metal is known for.
With groups like SepticFlesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse at the forefront of full-blown symphonies as backing and integral parts of the band – doing the heavy lifting on the melody end of things most of the time – and bands like Behemoth and Hate making a name for themselves by sounding gigantic despite their band photos basically just featuring ‘four dudes’, it’s interesting to see the bevy of groups that have cropped up on the in-between lines, sounding just as massive and embracing a lot of orchestral and ethnic instrumentation to help break them out from the usual pack of bruisers. They’re just as ambitious as many of their peers and often just as expansive, with releases that come in just short of needing a label in the corner that says ‘soundtrack to the major motion picture!’ on the right hand side of the cover art.
Germany’s Eridu are that style of band, with a weighty fifty-plus-minute release in Enuma Elish, tackling large subject matter and mythology with an equally heavy emphasis on both brutalizing rhythms and folk instrumentation and with a movie-maker’s eye for sound atmospherics and a metal fan’s taste for punching through walls.