Sweet and sour, good and bad, finding light in darkness – these are the cornerstones of Everlasting Blaze (EB) and their self-titled debut album. With dulcet vocals and powerful instrumentals, we see the duality within the female-fronted metal ensemble from Genoa, Italy, as they explode onto the scene ensuring to leave only scorched earth in their wake.
The album kicks off with a bittersweet blend of melancholy strings and bellicose drumming as EB sparks the album with its intro number, “Blaze,” and without hesitation they continue their doleful display of sound in “Scream.” Combining a mellifluously distorted duet of guitars and gloomy yet powerful lyrics, EB herald in their first album with authority. Yet, while the first two tracks serve as a welcoming act, they are supervened by the album’s single, “Memories.” Engaging the savagery of their instruments they create a near-industrial clash of sound as “Memories” bludgeons its way onto the mix. Marwa Briki’s somber vocals take center stage, projecting her voice with bravado amidst the crashing symbols showing EB’s true infatuation with finding the beauty in darkness.
As the flame of “Memories” fades, embedded in the embers we find “Zombie Town,” which, contrary to its predecessors, allows the music to flow to the forefront with powerful instrumentals. Atop heavy drum beats, lead guitarist Sadem Briki portrays his prowess in this section of the album with a mash of metallic guitar and slightly symphonic arrangements, billowing through “Zombie Town” and straight into “Misery.” As mingling chords are juxtaposed with Marwa’s spacey, celestial chorus, we find this part of the album once again elegantly illustrating EB’s overarching theme: always seeing a light, despite being shrouded in shadow.
Just as the first half of the album begins to cinder we see a kindling in “Alone.” EB attempts to use their grim lyrics and slow pace to tackle the age-old plight of man’s fear of despondence. Immediately after, “If Only” jumps in with fury breaking the trend of surrounding songs slow sound with frenzied aggression forcing its foothold as the album’s fulcrum. Soaring in with a smooth sound “Freedom” flies onto the album with its thought-provoking lyrics, justly kicking off the record’s second act. While it can sometimes be difficult not to get wrapped up in American idealisms, EB shows us that even halfway across the world these sentiments stay true. We all have something that we are trying to be freed from, and “Freedom” is not a nationalistic ideal; it’s the human condition.
As the record gradually starts spiraling to its center, and as we get closer to the heart of darkness, we are greeted with wickeder words upon assailing riffs, exemplified in the albums eleventh track “No Mercy.” Morose yet powerful lyrics, caustic composition, and a gut-wrenching guitar solo show that sometimes pain is the best motivation – if it doesn’t consume you first. These feelings are then further emphasized in “Life of Crime” as its marriage with “No Mercy” act as the album’s final eruption of aggression. Finally, hidden amongst the smoke we hear a dreary piano softly accompanied by EB’s bona fide myriad of distortion, laying atop some of their darkest lyrics in “The Wasted Soul,” laying the album to reset with a final faint whisper. The light of the song, and thusly the album, finish and fade into ash. And like all things do in this world, they disintegrate.
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