Releases

Ea – Au Ellai

Do you like your metal fast, with a swift and relentless ferociousness? Do you like finger blurring fretwork and pounding, speedy unremitting drumming? Well, Ea’s latest offering Au Ellai probably won’t be to your liking then!

This is a funeral doom record. This is not meant for easy listening. But in an odd, near inexplicable sense it is, as throughout, the crushing heaviness and multi layered synths create a haunting, lingering atmosphere. In long, sprawling tracks a deafening and unnerving cadence is unravelled, with Au Ellai’s first act coming in the form of the 23 minute ‘Aullu Eina’. It’s replete with gorgeous lead guitar work which is only accentuated by the guttural vocals that sound like they’ve come thundering from a soiled, depraved, vile furrow heaving with animal corpses and stench to knock out iron nostrils.

Only after that then does it shift to its ambient element leading until a long drone section accompanied by some rather vaguely clean but ethereal vocals.

Second track ‘Taela Mu’ commences with a dark piano overrun with orchestral samples untangling more and more of that foreboding ambience. Vocals are slow (of course) and feel oddly methodical in their delivery. Towards its conclusion the piano returns and wraps around the focal guitars, in a dizzying fashion.

After a textured and somewhat calm intro, closer ‘Nia Saeli A Taitlae’ comes crashing in with those slow, clattering cymbals. The whole track is 18 minutes of eerie and ghostly atmospherics and ambience. Again, there’s another massive melodic guitar lead flowing through to a trudging, meandering solo, all stressed further with the arrival the earth-shattering bellow.

The vocals are sporadic throughout though. Here, it’s more of the semi orchestral surroundings, staggering guitars and some utterly engrossing keyboards that make up the centrepiece.

Production wise Au Ellai holds up wondrously with each crescendo and every rolling, collapsing and splintering rumble audible to magnificent effect. Au Ellai is an enthralling listen for its creation of a drawn-out and evocative environment within its three tracks. It’s punishing for the most part and a test for the ears – a test that’s more than worth passing, though.

8/10
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