New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ MondoTunes)
Following more than five years as pure instrumentalists, Jersey progressive-rock band Eternal Essence releases their first LP featuring lead vocals, "A Light in the Distance." With guitars that sometimes tear and sometimes caress, bass like a bulletproof suspension bridge, drums that cruise, groove, and kick holes in walls, and a vocalist that soars above the ocean of sound like a bird on the wing, Eternal Essence steps into the rock foreground as if to say, "Oh, that? Yeah, we've been that awesome for awhile now. Sorry to startle you." It would seem that all of a sudden, the East Coast indie scene has an obscene amount of awesome to live up to.
Eternal Essence bills themselves as progressive rock in the vein of Dream
Theater, Rush, and Pink Floyd. All the best qualities of these powerhouse bands are indeed present in their music. However, fans of hardcore music will immediately identify them with the high-octane sounds of the infant emo scene of the early nineteen-nineties, when east coast bands like Quicksand, and west coast groups like Farside (Revelation Records) were forsaking the insipid, sappy whining of grunge performers to make music that was heavy-hitting and honest, free of music-industry pretentiousness. Eternal Essence is a return to everything that was ever good about punk rock, all the expertise of heavy metal instrumentation, and the exacting values of painstakingly premeditated songwriting. In a word, E.E. is exactly what modern music has, literally, been dying without.
Not unlike the Washington D.C. band Ashes, they've taken on a female vocalist to front their carefully measured wall of sound (Maria Vastano). Her voice never quite lilts, never panders, never sounds dispassionate, like a statue of the virgin Mary amidst a raging battlefield. She knows when to stand in shadows, and when to strike for the kill. The guitars charge, they race, they let chains of notes fall like Spanish classical music. The bass, perfectly married to the kick drum, walks into melodies with an effortlessness that can't help but ridicule what passes for bass guitar on most radio stations today. The drums - ah, the drums! - of Eternal Essence are their proverbial backbone, laying back and providing support from behind, right up to the crucial moment when they sharpen up to a staccato machine gun of head-rapping ecstasy, firing volley after volley of beautiful violence, carefully measured and white-knuckled in their triumphant lack of mercy. Plenty of drummers idolize Neil Peart of Rush, but the Peart-like percussion of Eternal Essence practices and does not preach.
There are crystalline keyboards, clean-channel strings, crashing cymbals like toppling walls... But the important thing is that the nation of music fans know: Eternal Essence is here, and they have a new album.
MondoTunes Staff Writer
The LP "A Light in the Distance" is distributed globally by MondoTunes (www.MondoTunes.com) and is available at iTunes for convenient purchase and download
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