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Title: The Eternal Arcane
Artist: Whispers In The Shadow
Genre: Goth Rock
Release Date: 23rd April 2010
Label: Echozone

Album Review

The second part of a conceptual cycle revolving around the alchemistic process (of transformation?) is what this new album of the Austrian outfit WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW is meant to be, and an expansion on the multifaceted sonic roots, planted with the 2008 release of 'Into The Arms Of Chaos'. The new album, titled 'The Eternal Arcane', a reference to the tarot I think, is going to be released this week and we'll now have a closer look at what's being delivered to us on the disc.

Chattering birds in a garden far away, somewhere where the sun is just fighting away all the shadows, drenched in ethereal choirs and piano, bound by the violin and the lament of Ashley Dayour is our start and named 'Haloes at Dawn'. The melody of a swan song of an era of order oscillates within the rocking walls of 'If Uriel Falls', a monument of classic Goth rock a la WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW, spewing forth a peculiar dark energy and nearly suspending those flows with a deep melancholy. A rolling bass vanguards the straight effort 'The Lost Soul', leading into a compound of vibrantly executed drumming, kudos at this point to Curt Benes for the nice solo at the end, and thin ethereal clouds hovering somewhere in the distance, never becoming clear. With the fourth track 'Clouds Without Water', the WHISPERS IN THE SHADOW set a new bar for an intriguing instrumentation.

But before anything really appears, the sun starts to set and the creepy shadows of night draw closer to us. A monk choir sounds and then, sometime later, a ritualistic percussion rhythm peels out of the dark and mesmerizes just as the frigid ambience above it does. One of my favourite album tracks. 'Blood, Sweat & Tears' follows a harder route with its sawing industrial-rock tinged riffs and a break beat drum fundament of sorts. 'Amenta Descending' breathes an air of mystical calm. It almost feels like being on a spirit walk in time to long forgotten and fallen cities or places. But at certain points of the story the track breaks out and the calm gives way to rocking outcries, layers placed over layers, and an awesome groove you wouldn't suspect in there at first listen. 'Blessed In Disguise' feels like an entirely different genre then, where acoustic branches reach out into a foggy dawn, harbouring percussion, piano and psychedelic hints. Truly the most unusual piece on the record!

Let's switch genres again, shall we? 'The Wheel of Pain' offers a rather violent, dirty kind of Rock. Sounds a little like some Garage stuff due to its harsh and raw clothing. Last but not least we have the title track, clocking in at smooth 10 minutes, introduced by spectral flutes floating away on reversed guitar sounds. In the course it's pushing forward into epic dimensions and presents the skills of this band at a peak. This song also has another component making it a very special work. Never before on this album were kind of uplifting feelings and unfettered sadness that close to each other, resulting from the turns the melodic work takes time and time again. First you heard a whole lot of nothing from the band for quite some time and then they're coming along with a series of very strong albums. 'The Eternal Arcane' relies on classic structures, just as much as it explores new facets and right now I can hardly picture how they can raise the bar even higher with the third part of the circle. But for the time being this one bears enough stuff to discover.


01. Haloes At Dawn - 2:51
02. If Uriel Falls - 3:28
03. The Lost Soul - 3:48
04. Clouds Without Water - 5:50
05. From Aeon To Aeon - 3:39
06. Blood, Sweat And Tears - 3:39
07. Amenta Descending - 7:53
08. Blessed In Disguise - 3:45
09. Sutuach - 2:20
10. God Of Confusion - 6:29
11. The Wheel Of Pain - 3:29
12. The Eternal Arcane - 10:07


Ashley Dayour - Vocals, Guitars, E-Bow
Fork - Bass
Martin Acid - Keyboards, Piano
Curt Benes - Drums, Percussions

Website /

Cover Picture


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9 / 10


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