The Devils of Loudon
Escaping Eternity

I last heard this Seattle band back in 2016 when I reviewed their second self-released EP, Enduring Creation. However, I wasn’t sure what label they would fit on and what the audience was for their very heavily keyboard-drenched form of technical black-ish metal. Well, 6 years later we have our answer with a match made in heaven as The Artisan Era is a perfect fit for the band’s long-awaited debut album.

As I mentioned in my Aethereus review, there are some shared members between the two bands; Scott Hermanns (who plays guitars here as opposed to bass in Aethereus) and vocalist Vance Bratcher, and stylistically the bands certainly share some tech death DNA and use keyboards. But The Devils of Loudon, as on their 2 EPs have a much more neo-classical, sweeping, pomp filled 90s/00s based, melodic black metal style of keyboards like Children of Bodom, Lothlorien, Skyfire, etc, or modern peers Assemble the Chariots, Winters Gate or label mates Singularity (whose Jack Fliegler drops a guest solo on “The Scourge of Beasts”) as opposed to some of the pure orchestral, bombastic, and dramatic stylings of some of their blackened deathcore cousins like Carnifex, Lorna Shore and Shadow of Intent.

With 10 new songs, Escaping Eternity is going to appeal to the tech death crowd, the blackened deathcore crowd, and the symphonic black metal crowd as there are elements of all going on here. And the album seem to get better the further you get into it. The guitars, especially the many solos, that also have that neo-classical vibe (i.e “Anamnesis”) that mirrors the keyboards of Ben Velozo, which are present for virtually every shreddy moment of every shreddy song, this isn’t piecemeal or just used here or there, like Aethereus or Inferi (another stylistically similar band).

And those moments make for a pretty busy, but still enthralling listen from start to finish, with a few ‘wow’  moments thrown in for good measure in tracks like “Ex Nihilo”, “Evolving Wilds”, mid-song stomp of “Praise the Eternal Nightmare”, vastly varied, 8 and a half minute standout “Abysswalker”, more brutal, the blistering tech-death shred of “Formless” and closer “Arcana Imperi”, which ends the album with the most epic and memorable of the 10 tracks.

This was well worth the 6-year wait, and considering the sudden explosion of symphonic bands in tech death/deathcore, etc, perfectly timed. And after a killer 2021, The Artisan Era is off to a rip-roaring start to 2022 with this, the more progressive WAIT, and the tech-death masterpieces from Aethereus, and Arkaik, all dropping in the first 3 months of the year. Let’s hope they keep the quality of releases up.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 28th, 2022

Comments

  1. Commented by: J. Mays

    This is killer, just like the Aethereus. The Artisan Era is off to a hell of a start and will likely have themselves in the “label of the year” conversation.


  2. Commented by: Gary the G

    You dropped a Lothlorien take!! Holy crap
    They are fucking incredible
    You heard Without Grief – deflower from the same time period
    My favorite melodeath album maybe ever
    We have similar tastes (minus deathcore) so check it out ok


  3. Commented by: Erik T

    Thanks for the rec- ill check them out!


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