Ask the founding member of Eyes of Ligeia about his band history and you're likely to get this responseÃ¢â¬Â¦
In the cursed year 1998 of the Common Era (not coincidentally corresponding to the Number of the Beast three times over), a new medium was required for the communication of haunting despair and abject misery through music. It was to this lamentation that Eyes of Ligeia was a fitting response. Originally, one visionary was enough for channeling this new perspective on the dark arts, but over time this proved insufficient for a full realization of the vision. As Zarathustra spake, companions the Creator seeks, those who will write new values on new tablets. The proper medium for communicating the most pure essence of Eyes of Ligeia is the ritual setting of a live performance, and for this the complicity of other dark souls was necessary. Like the founder, these other conspirators share deep knowledge of the arcane theory and practice of the Dark Arts, and every act undertaken by the horde is a self-contained ritual to further our magickal aims.*
Well, that's one way to put it. Another way would be to say that the band originated as a solo project from Toby Chapell and bases itself out of Atlanta. Juggling all instruments on the groups first few albums; Chapell realized the limits of a one-man show, particularly when performing live. So we now have A Fever Which Would Cling to Thee Forever, the first release by Eyes of Ligeia to feature a full roster to deliver the goods and boy howdy, do these guys deliver. This is doom and despair at its finest, folks; a dirge for every occasion. Imagine the members of Trouble, Sunn O))) and Varg Vikernes in a suicide pact. This is what would be played at their funeral.
Now, we all know it's customary for bands of the black ilk to use stage names like Agamemnon the Abacinator, Angel Raper or something simpler and more concise, like Dead, but when you're dealing with new members like Karnivean A'ano'nin Occaxial or Lycanthrian Demogorgon, it almost appears to border on parodyÃ¢â¬Â¦ until you hear the album.
Think of the primordial beginnings of doom and you'll have groups like Thergothon, Funeral and Tiamat that paved the way with headstones for later groups like Candlemess or Shape of Despair. Eyes of Ligeia keep it blissfully old school enhanced with a fuller, richer sound than was exhibited on previous work. Compare new track "Watcher in the Water" to older works like "Seraphs Uplifted with the Sun" and you'll know what I'm talking about. There's something oddly comforting about this album - a dichotomy of sorts - a soothing, relaxing disquiet that you can easily either punch a hole in the wall, or sleep blissfully to. Granted, you'll probably have nightmares all night of the entire population of the earth being eradicated by disease and pestilence, but what can you do? Just wait and see, kids - when the horsemen of the apocalypse come-a-ridin' they aren't going to have Wagner or Berlioz on their iPods. It'll be Eyes of Ligeia.
*Quote courtesy of an unpublished interview from the band's website.
8.8 / 10
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