After spending hours on the web searching for the band Eerie, I’ve finally found them and their self-titled debut. With a band name like that, I passed by everything from comic books to Polish black metal to unsettling porn. And, as it turns out, it was well worth the frustrating Google search. Debuting on Tee Pee Records (a much easier name to search), the label describes the band as being black metal/rock—a combo that could go many ways. But Eerie was not what I expected. I assumed Eerie would be fundamental Enslaved-like black-metal with copious amounts Pink Floyd. Instead, the black metal aspect is quite subtle. The riffs have the right character, but the vocals and progressiveness take this hideous beast to a different level. Does this mean Eerie is a steaming pile of shit? Absolutely not. Take it from me; never judge a book by its cover (especially one that looks like the cover to your left). Eerie turns out to be quite a surprise and once you take in its every detail, it’ll latch onto you like a leech [From the aforementioned unsettling stuff? – Steel Druhm] .
Opener “Hideous Serpent” wastes no time getting things going and setting moods. A few seconds in and you are transported back in time to a style once ruled by the likes of Black Sabbath. It’s got the doomy character and distant clean vocals without the “retro” nameplate. Their style is familiar but it has just enough originality to keep it from sounding too much like their influences (even though labelmates Death Alley sound like their influences and sound awesome). “Hideous Serpent” has plenty o’ dark, old-school chugs and a simply progginess that hacky-sacks with some psychedelic melody. Like the most of the album, the opener is lengthy (a touch over seven minutes) and is dependent on the Almighty Build. It focuses on catchy riffs that fall off midway through the song. But return once more with help from the bass and drums; dragging the song from a doomy mire of guitar feedback.
“Yeti” is like the opener (in vocal style, atmosphere, build, etc.), but with greater “epicness.” The song opens with an accelerating drum pattern that careens head-on with the guitars. From here, the song hits the rails on a rollercoaster ride of ascending and descending moods. Along with the simplistic drumming and bass work, the occasional chanting makes “Yeti” the perfect soundtrack to a Lovecraft story. “Immortal Rot” snatches up the formula from these two tracks, flips it on end and smashes it with a hammer. It takes the progginess of the ten-minute “Yeti” and achieves the same results in half the time. The straightforward delivery does wonders to balance out the lengthier ditties on the debut.
The vocals of “Immortal Rot” also take on a slightly different approach to those of “Hideous Serpent” and “Yeti.” It’s a subtle shift but the fire behind the vocal performance in “Immortal Rot” makes it a keeper. These contributions are clean, classic, and gruffy; giving an almost Saint Vitus feel to “Immortal Rot.” But “Master of Creation” and closer “Blood Drinker” are the highlights. It’s the power of the choruses and the concise songwriting that set these two apart. “Master of Creation” uses the same Wino-esque vocal delivery in its hooking chorus while the heart-wrenching closer crushes your spirits with its Melvins-esque swoonings.
While the bass and drums do a damn good job taking the lead on the finales of songs like “Hideous Serpent,” “Yeti,” and “Immortal Rot,” the wild solos and guitar feedback from Tim Lehi (Draugar, ex-Twilight) becomes quite predictable. But the biggest problem with this formulaic feel has to do with the dynamics. With a little more breathing room, this thing would sound impressive. I like Eerie‘s rawness and the thick production, but I just wish there were some open ranges to these deep valleys. But of all the “good” and “great” debuts I have reviewed so far this year, Eerie has some potential. They have simple songwriting that is both familiar and unique, and they have a passion for tying it all together. Eerie is a great start for the band and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.