The Eternal : Under A New Sun
This is renowned Aussie band The Eternal's fourth album, and while their previous releases have been extremely strong affairs, Under A New Sun is definitely their most complete work to date. The key element is that it represents a band truly finding themselves and their ideal sound.
That's thanks, in no small part, to the production and directional talents of the mighty Jeff Martin, now a resident of Melbourne, and former main-man of seminal Canadian power trio The Tea Party. His stamp is all over Under A New Sun, and he truly brings out the very best in the Melbourne three piece. The production on the album is left ever so slightly raw, and allows everything to breathe beautifully. Martin even lends his considerable vocal and guitar talents to select cuts.
All the fancy production in the world doesn't mean dog's bollocks without the quality of songcraft and musicianship to back it up, however. And The Eternal have both in droves. There is nary a weak link among the 11 tunes on offer, and the musicianship, while quite straight forward by today's heavy music standards, is direct and dead on the money.
Singer/guitarist Mark Kelson's guitar playing is varied and dynamic, and drummer Marty O'Shea slams the groove down with brute strength and just the occasional touch of flair.
Great songs abound on this disc, but true highlights come in the form of The Tea Party-reminiscent title-track, and the powerful, Zeppelin-esque ballad Eclipse, where Martin's dulcet vocal tones lend subtle but telling assistance. Plus the groove of A Thousand Shades Of You is simply monstrous, before leading into a slightly dreamy - but very catchy - melodic chorus.
The Middle Eastern influence, clearly apparent in both the aforementioned Tea Party and Led Zeppelin (who were quite clearly a massive influence on Jeff Martin), is present on Under A New Sun, but is a little more implied, rather than overtly in-your-face. It adds even further layers to an already diverse and powerful sound.
By their own admission, The Eternal's previous releases have had some extremely strong moments, but tended to fall away just a touch in the last third. There is no such issue here. This album is wall to wall quality, and is further evidence as to the world class standard of Australian heavy music today.
Best track: A Thousand Shades Of You
If you dig these, you'll dig this: Transmission THE TEA PARTY, Physical Graffiti LED ZEPELLIN, Nice To See You JERICCO, Moving Pictures RUSH.
In a word: Quality
Out Now on Sombre Light Music