The mysterious French black metal entity Esoctrilihum, whose sole member goes by the name Asthâghul, has been prolific by common standards, releasing four albums from 2017 through 2019, and with a fifth one now due for arrival in this plague year of 2020. And yet listening to these albums reveals continual change. Rather than conscious exploration or experimentation, the albums seem more likely to be a reflection of the creator’s mental and emotional states as they existed at each moment, and the inspirations and impulses that then flowered. But regardless of the explanation, listening to the evolution across the course of these records has been fascinating.
The new album, Eternity of Shaog, is no less fascinating than its predecessors. It represents a distinct entity with its own atmosphere, and more pronounced melodic elements, presented through violins, piano, kantele, and synths. In its many accomplishments, it reaches a creative zenith in Esoctrilihum’s recordings — but only so far, because this project can’t help but foster increasing intrigue and increasingly elevated expectations, rather than any surmise that the next release will be “more of the same”.
With two pre-release tracks out in the world already, we are now in the fortunate position of adding to those insights about the music by presenting today the title track in advance of the album’s release by I, Voidhanger Records on May 22nd.