Echoes Of Eternity – The Forgotten Goddess

Hey, remember when Nuclear Blast was signing new, artistically relevant bands?

Neither do I.

This is a picture of Echoes Of Eternity. It should instantaneously tell you what this album is going to sound like. Pretentious, pseudo intellectual monochromatic photography? Check. Chubby, overtly fashionable backing band behind attractive female singer? Check. Absurd cleavage as primary object of interest in image? Check. Is this the best that Nuclear Blast can come up with these days? Apparently so, because they’re pushing shit like this hard on listeners as if we’re genuinely interested in it.

From ‘The Forgotten Goddess’ as the title to the menstrual-cycle-gone-terribly-wrong artwork, one would expect some outburst of feminism; but alas, even a conceptual shift is to drastic for a band like Echoes Of Eternity. Get ready for the pattern established by progenitors such as Nightwish, Epica, and After Forever: tepid-ass power metal with too much metalcore riffing and too little balls (or even ovaries) to impact the listener in any real way. I would say this LP screams ‘bog standard’, but that would imply a level of capability to BE bog-standard. Echoes Of Eternity can’t even manage that.

I’m not going to say I didn’t to some degree know what I was getting into when I elected to review this. I didn’t expect some sort of artistic supernova, but I at the very least thought it would be competently constructed (particularly considering how easy it is to do this sort of entertainment), but it can’t even manage that. Every song goes nowhere and does nothing on the trip over, and even manages to crash the fucking car at random intervals along the way. Seriously, there are periodic moments during this CD where everyone involved is clearly just sort of drifting and half-improvising and thinking “Seriously, what the fuck are we DOING?”

Anyone who decries the state of power metal guitars is only going to want to excavate their hearts with a fucking trowel after they hear this. Topping out at sub-par melodeath thievery and hitting valleys of metalcore chug chug bullshit, the guitars here are a complete joke on every level. Now, considering that power metal is a genre fundamentally based off some of the basic tenants of Iron Maiden, what could possibly make it better? I know! Let’s add unnecessary breakdowns (disguised as bridges by keyboards but not fucking fooling anyone by a long shot) and completely bizarre brutal death (I know, what the christ) style riffing full of squeaking chord shifts and drop tunings. Of course, what better way to augment incapable guitars than with similarly inept keyboards that manage to do everything and accomplish nothing throughout this goddamn record. There’s always some stupid, soaring accompaniment to even the most tepid of musical segments which does nothing but heighten how droning and lifeless this album is. The drums are just as lifeless, but I suppose they’re a high point as they aren’t actively bad.

Of course, where would Echoes Of Eternity be without Francine Boucher. Now, we all know that metal fans are by and large some of the dumbest people in the world. This makes it easy to manipulate them into believing that quality is defined by titties as opposed to artistic quality. Seriously, who actually believes that Boucher’s obnoxious, reverb-soaked operatic warbling is somehow indicative of a greater meaning or some existential cleverness? It’s fucking not! It’s got too many effects attempting to mask too little range, and, more importantly, too few fucking ideas for this album. This has to be one of the most awful examples of stretching single ideas across songs this side of ‘Construality’; the band shuffles its collective feet until some poorly conceived ’emotional peak’ ejaculates onto the scene, right before going back to the aforementioned shuffling.

While writing this, I’ve been glancing through other reviews written for this album. Surely some faith must be kept within the metal reviewing public; after all, they wouldn’t let this album, this complete travesty against all things metal, go without a savage lambasting. And yet, nearly flawless ratings abound throughout the internet, all going on about how ‘engaging’ and ‘progressive’ and ‘ethereal’ ‘The Forgotten Goddess’ is. ‘Progressive’!? How is this progressive in any way, shape or form? Have we as a people become so collectively retarded as to believe that this half-assed compilation of mediocre ideas and wretched cream filling can seriously be labeled as art? The world is indeed a sad and fascinating place. This doesn’t even have the dignity of being labeled a failed experiment, as it aspires to nothing more than ‘phat dollas’ for everyone involved. The sad thing is, such money will easily be made in a community where even the most passing mention of ‘Tarja Turunen upskirt’ sends half its population running with their hands on their cocks and their wallets spewing faster than they can.

‘The Forgotten Goddess’ is insipid crap that possesses not even the barest trace of what could conceivably be described as art. ‘Once’ is ‘Blessed Are The Sick’ compared to this trifling bullshit. Steal, burn, and weep for our future.

(Originally written for http://www.grindingtheapparatus.net)

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~ by noktorn on February 10, 2007.

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