Frostmoon Eclipse – Rustworn EP

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One of Italy's oldest black metal outfits Frostmoon Eclipse has had a pretty lengthy and consistent career that started all the way back in 1994, 7 full-length albums and 5 EP's besides a bunch of split albums under their belt and now a 6th EP under the form of 'Rustworn', released via Immortal Frost Productions. Even the line-up has been pretty consistent for the past decade or so with founding member and guitarist Claudio Alcara, filled out with Gionata Potenti on drums, Lorenzo Sassi on vocals and Davide Gorrini on bass. The release boasts 2 new tracks and 3 live renditions of old tracks, clocking in on a bit over half an hour playtime and promising a sound that harks back from the heydays of nineties' black metal.

The album starts off with title track ‘Rustworn‘ and a semi-acoustic atmospheric bleak intro until after half a minute they blast into that classic old school black metal sound with blast beats, dissonance and harsh vocals. This might all quickly turn into something rather plain and unforgettable, but Frostmoon Eclipse manages to hold on to your attention by deftly adding engaging melodies and even having breaks where the black metal blasting makes place for semi-acoustic parts similar to the intro. In the second half those less heavy parts get filled out by vocals that sound more haunting by adding a touch more cleanliness and emotion to them. The ebb and flow really makes the difference for this track which I really started to enjoy the more I listened to it.

The one other new track, ‘Relentless, Circling’, then on the other hand starts with some interesting use of bass lines and very melodic guitars to suck you in. After a bit over a minute, the expected old school black metal sound returns, sounding more haunting than before and adding enough variation again to keep your attention to in the end fade out with that same type of rather pretty melodic guitar play.

The rest of the album brings live recordings of older tracks and to be honest, the quality is pretty good for live black metal music. I feel that with 2 more straightforward tracks (‘Hell Thousandfold’ and ‘Devoured’) and then a 10 minute long more progressive/experimental track (‘Torn Apart By The Withering Voices Of Deceit’) that boasts a more atmospheric black metal sound, they offer a pretty decent idea of what to expect from them as a band and if you might want to check more out from them.

This ‘Rustworn‘ EP give a pretty decent view on what to expect from Frostmoon Eclipse. And to my surprise, while they clearly have that old school black metal sound that is to be expected from a band that has been around for almost 3 decades, there is enough experimentation with melodies and variation that is being brought into the fold to make it a really interesting and engaging listen. I found myself entering my listening sessions with not too much expectations, getting more and more impressed by these 4 guys, ending up writing “check out the back catalogue of Frostmoon Eclipse” in my to-do list. If you don’t know this band yet, the EP is highly recommended to quickly check if this is something for you. If you’re into an old school black metal sound with some decent melodics going for it, I’m pretty sure the answer will be yes.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 7/10
  • Originality 7/10
7.8

Surprisingly varied in sound combining old school black metal with great melodies, turning this in an engaging little gem of a black metal release. If you don’t know one of Italy’s oldest black metal bands yet, this 5 track (2 new and 3 live renditions) release is the perfect way to get an introduction to Frostmoon Eclipse. Highly recommended.

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