Pages comes to life with a kind of disciplined suddenness, like the inevitable approach of the Halloween films’ iconic villain Michael Myers. It springs from the shadows and advances, not at a run but somehow still unsettlingly quick – it stalks. Instead of the heavy footfalls of the masked monster, it’s sharp, relentless blast beats and black metal’s signature tremolo riffs. When the initial surge is spent, the opening title track peels back into pulsing chords punctuated with jagged bursts. A death metal-like precision and technicality marries expertly to the pitch black melodicism of the Icelandic black metal scene. Eclipser, the newcomers from Ottawa, Ontario, are here to stay.
Pages is a bite-sized (just under fifteen minutes) follow-up next to their debut LP, Pathos, but in every other way eclipses it. The production is fuller with a nice washy reverb sound and the instruments strike with titanic impact. The songs are more furious, but laced with spine-tingling melodic phrasings made taut with just the right touch of dissonance. The guitars and drums weave dizzyingly through twisty structures, effortless in execution, while what sounds like a wounded animal roars atop it all. The crime is that it’s there for a moment, all too brief, and then gone again. Eclipser have set a high bar for themselves, and the cravings this EP leaves are nigh-on unbearable.
Pages is out now via Bandcamp and can be ordered here.
Words: Brett Tharp