Blazing Eternity- A Certain End Of Everything (Album Review)

June 7, 2024


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If you listened to a lot of gothic metal or melodic death/doom around the late 90s to early 2000s you may have come across Denmark based Blazing Eternity before.  Originally formed back in 1991 under the name Ancient Sadness before switching to Blazing Eternity somewhere around 1993, the group released several demos and two very different full lengths over an eight-year span.  2000’s Times and Unknown Waters had a much more aggressive and metallic sheen, while 2003’s A World to Drown In stripped almost all of that away in favor of more somber gothic rock.  Following that effort, the group disappeared for quite some time, and except for a few live shows around 2011 and 2012 it seemed like they would remain dormant.  But in 2024 they’ve returned in a big way with A Certain End Of Everything, which brings back the harsher vocals and death/doom riffs along with the somber beauty of their sophomore effort.  It’s a hauntingly beautiful and powerful listen that will stick with listeners for some time to come, and whether you’ve heard of Blazing Eternity before or not this is an album worth spending some in-depth time with.

Opener “One Thousand Lights” makes a strong first impression, as you’re greeted with sorrowful melodies and somber atmosphere immediately upon hitting play but after the first minute or so things open into a brisker pace where the guitar work displays a considerable amount more power.  Blazing Eternity often straddles the line between gothic metal and rock on many of these songs, sometimes opting for softer leads that seem to hover above the recording with an airier quality and other times pivoting back towards much heavier and denser ones that have some more fire and grit.  On the other end of the spectrum, slower numbers like the title track move towards melodic death/doom with more slower and methodical build-ups that keep the listener hanging on every note as the atmosphere builds to grander levels.  But no matter where the group chooses to go, each song draws you in with just the right balance of big, booming hooks and beautiful melodies that have a sense of melancholy and reflection.  The title track in particular is a favorite of mine, as it has this crushing sense of despair early on with much darker and gloomier riffs, but around four minutes in pivots over to a warmer, hopeful melody that is stunning.  While the guitar and bass play a large role in keeping that balance between the heavy and soft sides of the sound, the keyboard work is what really pushes the atmosphere into its most entrancing level and it makes a significant difference.  Empyrium’s Markus Stock once again handled mixing and mastering, and the fuller, warmer approach does have some similarities to his band, but you’ll also get hints of everything from Swallow the Sun to Katatonia.  Admittedly the way that the songs move between the methodical pacing and faster tempos results in some moments that feel just a bit too similar, but the guitar and keyboard work is so strong that I didn’t mind and each song had a particular passage that stuck with me.

As mentioned earlier, there is a return to the harsher vocals from Times and Unknown Waters but Blazing Eternity has kept just as much of an emphasis on singing.  “One Thousand Lights” opts to showcase the harsher end of the spectrum first as Peter Mesnickow’s raspy screams and growls are very prominent and add some abrasive elements to the otherwise melancholic soundscape.  Morten Kroll Lybecker provides some nice contrast to this with a much softer, ethereal pitch that comes very close to Alcest’s Neige on songs like “The Secrets of White”.  This is easily the best combination of vocal styles the group has worked with so far, and there are both screamed and sung passages that have been in my head ever since that first listen.  Whether it’s the beautiful singing/chanting on “The Secrets of White” or the interplay of clean and harsh on closer “The Bells”, Blazing Eternity has plenty of depth to their performance.  The only criticism I have is the singing on “Your Mountains Will Drown Again” aren’t as strong as the rest of the album, but this is a minor flaw considering just how much emotion the rest of the vocal work stirs up.

Blazing Eternity may not have the same name recognition as some of the other groups in the gothic metal and melodic death/doom space given their lengthy absence, but they’ve delivered a comparable level of quality with A Certain End Of Everything.  Even though some of the songs may start to feel a bit similarly constructed, the ability for the instrumentation and vocal work to hook you makes up for it and makes this effort captivating from beginning to end.  I’m not sure what else the band has planned from here and if we’ll get even more music in the years to come, but they have returned with a bang.  A Certain End Of Everything is available from Mighty Music.

-Review by Chris Dahlberg