Echoes Of Eternity - As Shadows Burn
Nuclear Blast
Heavy/Power Metal
9 songs (39:59)
Release year: 2009
Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat

Building on the mild success of their debut, female-fronted Californian fivesome Echoes Of Eternity present their second album in two years, and whilst it’s an improvement from the debut the band have a long way to go before they’re cranking out the Thrashy Heavy Metal anthems in a Nevermore-meets-Leaves Eyes parallel universe. Any flaws identified by Ben in his review of The Forgotten Goddess are less of a concern here, though; there being enough Metal goodness to justify the band’s existence in a world full of similar groups. They’re a hard act to sell, however – the most obvious comparison being Iced Earth, Echoes Of Eternity having a similar mix of Heavy and Thrash Metal riffing, yet Francine Boucher’s pleasant voice is more Gothic than Power, and on the first few listens it’ll take time to adjust yourself to this juxtaposition. All too often the band settles into a mid-paced chug with Francine doing her thing seemingly oblivious to the rest of the band whilst they gallop along in the background, and the Progressive elements claimed are pretty laughable, if they exist at all.

The make-or-break for most of these bands is their songwriting ability and whilst Echoes Of Eternity are clearly trying for originality, they need to ensure that the outcome is what people actually want to listen to. Towards the second half of the album there’s a weird twist towards classic Death Metal, with the most obvious example being Twilight Fire’s Morbid Angel worship. Honestly, you’ll have yourself checking to make sure that you haven’t put Domination on in the background, the twisting riffs and blasting double-bass clearly following the veteran’s formula, but even with an admittedly kickass instrumental section it’s not something fatal to the flesh. The following songs are poor, Letalis repeating a great riff mechanically until you’re begging for the end and Buried Beneath A Thousand Dreams blasting its way exactly nowhere. Veiled Horizon, the best track on the album (and the single if they have any sense) is the only one with a truly good chorus, and ironically is the most Gothic Metal song on the album, contrasting the Doomy riffs well with Francine’s uplifting vocals.

My ultimate gripe about As Shadows Burn is the unevenness of it all. Moments like the aforementioned blasting in Twilight Fire and Buried Beneath A Thousand Dreams seem more like the band deliberately trying to mix things up than as parts of a dynamic and varied album, and once you’ve played it a few times it is pretty obvious that Echoes Of Eternity are trying to have their cake and eat it. This wants to be a jack of all trades, appealing to Metalheads who like riffs and female vocals, but it fails simply because neither group will find As Shadows Burn diverting for long. Looking at this with as much generosity as I can summon, this is worth a listen if you really can’t live without female vocals in your riff-driven Metal and are too much of a wimp to enjoy To-Mera’s complex Prog. Otherwise, safely ignorable.

Killing Songs :
Veiled Horizon, Twilight Fire
Goat quoted 69 / 100
Other albums by Echoes Of Eternity that we have reviewed:
Echoes Of Eternity - The Forgotten Goddess reviewed by Ben and quoted 68 / 100
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