ETERNAL - Satanic Templars of the Dark Age
Released: February, 2005 | Label: Sinister Sounds | Rating: 7/10 | Reviewer: PSL | Provided by: Sinister Sounds

01. Fanatic Desire
02. End of the Usurper's Reign
03. Hardened in the Tears of Their Will
04. The War Dog's Mortal Ballet

French death metal in general has always stood to me as something of the most uninspired and boring in the world - I'm not trying to piss anybody off but honestly I can't recall any really good French death metal bands. Of course there are exceptions like old stuff such as Massacra and to a certain extend Loudblast but besides those I have yet to hear something that reaches international standards but perhaps there's light at the end of the tunnel 'cause Eternal is actually pretty good. At first I didn't like the music much but now after several listens I have to admit that the band is actually in the better end of the scale. The music is a mixture of death and black metal and the band manages to vary it enough to keep it fairly interesting. It's quite obvious that some of the members have played in black metal bands prior to forming Eternal, not that there's anything negative in that but it really shines through music but also production-wise.

What really caught my ears was the Diabolic-like leads that pop up in nearly all of the songs. I have a weakness for good leads/solos and Eternal pretty much hit that spot dead on. The somewhat dry and flat production doesn't do the music much justice, it simply sounds too hollow and thin. The production is actually where my biggest problem with Satanic Templars of the Dark Age is, somehow it seem to water out the brutality and intensity that music otherwise would have had with a punchier and thicker production and that's a shame. The EP was recorded in 2003 and it's a very decent debut but without the big moves, however I'm looking forward to hearing something of newer date from this band.

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