Eremite ~ All Things Merge Into One (Oct 7th 2014 - Taxi Driver Records)
- Awareness 7:40
- The Past Became My Future 10:30
- Tormento 2:38
- Drift Away 9:33
- Bowing to the Mountain 3:20
- So Distant 2:41
When I think of doom-related qualities, i think of Italy. It’s not something i can exactly put my finger on. Maybe it’s the gothic architecture. Upon my first gaze of the Siena Cathedral, I’m sure the spirit of doom could dwell inside despite it being a church. Maybe it’s the history of Italy itself - the warfare that occurred in the middle ages depicted a picture of downfall and ruination. We can’t ignore the tumultuous history of both the Roman Empire (and its collapse) and the stern hand of the Roman Catholic Church. Gather all these pieces and Italy is the perfect environment for doom to flourish.
Let’s not forget that a lot of italians have taken advantage of their locale to create something beautiful, as well. Italian doom bands seem to be more poetic than doom bands elsewhere. Perhaps they aren’t poetic in the conventional way of thinking, but these bands express some real emotion. From Abysmal Grief with their unique funeral doom sound, the heavy epic sound of Doomsword and the dark, heavy meanderings of Bretus to newer faces like Krownn and Black Capricorn—and even the thick, psychedelic haze of Ufomammut—at the core of Italian doom metal, there is something very profound going on.
Today, our journey to the boot-shaped country takes us to Genoa, where the heavy blackened doom-sludge band Eremite resides. Eremite are chaotic and not for the timid. However, those who have survived their own personal hells might find remarkable consolation in Eremite’s new album All Things Merge Into One. This is metal that rages for the broken in spirit.
The first thing that anyone will likely say about the new record (their second album) is how big the sound is. For a solo project that became a duo (and a trio for live shows), the band has always sounded like it was composed of five pieces, not two. When I listen to the massive, ferocious sonic tapestry of Ermite, I feel insignificant in comparison. I’m a tiny ship in the ocean and the waves that crash into me are the vibrations from All Things Merge Into One.
As mentioned, Ermite was originally the burden of one man: Fabio Cuomo. Eremite has since added Giulia Piras on bass, with Fabio remaining on drums or guitar, vocals and piano ( Leandro Scotto of Synodik joins live performances), perhaps providing us a clue to the album’s title: All Things Merge Into One. And merging they do! Eremite border on many things without easily falling into one genre. They bind together big sludge influences like Cough with black metal that resembles Ash Borer, with a healthy frequency of hardcore. This is disorder and chaos that somehow ends up organized and coherent.
"Awareness" gets the album started with deafening noise. If this doesn’t grab your attention, then I’m afraid nothing will. This sludge is a game stopper in heaviness and is a perfect match for the rapid drums. The vocals are perfect for the instrumentals - Fabio has crafted a voice suitable for both hardcore and black metal sounds. The last half of the song has more ambient touches to it, which proves how well thought out of a song this really is.
If you like things more on the post-rock end of the spectrum (like myself), you’ll probably be inclined to really like the second track, “The Past Became My Future.” This one has some serious Neurosis-esque vibes. The guitars are chilling and they help to shape the tempestuous aura. Many might find this song a challenging listen at over ten minutes, but I find it a rewarding one. The battle between guitar and bass gives the feeling a rushing heartbeat, yet there are soothing piano moment to be discovered. There’s a lot of contrast in this song, which makes it easy to feel personal to what the listener is feeling.
After a short yet stirring piano segment, Eremite brings back the heavy. This time, with a progressive edge in the vein of early Mastodon; and like a fine wine, you cannot rush this one. Enjoy the post-metal midsection, it’s quite riffy and will take you for one of hell of a trip. The blackened sludge is very complimentary to match the Mastodon-meets-Isis vibe.
"Bowing to the Mountain" is next, and while it’s a short track in comparison to the others, it’s no less heavy! The progressive component is removed from the equation, which allows the hammering riffs to come to the forefront. The album is closed with "So Distant," an ambient song featuring piano matched with tranquil guitar. I find it a beautiful way to end this emotional driven album.
This is a demanding album in the aspect that it requires a lot of heart. For die-hard metal fans that love to listen to album from beginning to end, this is likely to be one of those albums for you. However, those that prefer to listen to things on shuffle or compile playlists may not be able to fully appreciate All Things Merge Into One by isolating one track from the whole.
For only being a two person band, I find Eremite beyond impressive and a must-listen for fans of tricked out doom, with elements of blackened sludge, hardcore, and ambient metal. I enjoyed this one and give it a hearty endorsement.
*Did you know Doomed & Stoned is also on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Mixcloud, and Ello?