2017Oathbreaker w/ King Woman, Jaye Jayle
MarchDoors 8:30, Show 9:30 - $12adv/14
Eros|Anteros" is the breathtaking follow up to Oathbreaker's critically acclaimed "Maelstrom" album (Deathwish 2011). Where "Maelstrom" acted as individual fragments of aural shrapnel, "Eros|Anteros" is a monstrous shockwave of sound. It is Oathbreaker's story of love and the anti-love (life and death), and the growth they have experienced through these trials.
In opener "Beeltenis" (Dutch for "Portrait") layers of melodious guitar cry out to one another through the blackness. Acting as a ghostlike warning before Oathbreaker whips calm to chaos. "No Rest for the Weary" then abruptly crashes forward with breakneck speed and from there the floodgates of "Eros|Anteros" are open. As vocalist Caro Tanghe lets out the hair raising screams of "I'll never know what it means - this deadly calm inside", it's clear that this album is more potent and personal than most heavy music; this is a collective soul searching for the band. This is most apparent in brother and sister songs "As I Look Into the Abyss" and "The Abyss Looks Into Me". A stunning pairing that shows Oathbreaker racing through razor sharp metallic riffing before erupting into a vicious emotional explosion. This quarrel continues throughout the "Eros|Anteros", finally coming to a head in the haunting closer "Clair Obscur". A brilliant eleven minute epic that carefully balances shoe-gaze leanings with their wounded post-metal heart.
As soon as "Dove" begins its downward descent, the fall from heaven is heard like a tape-recorded choir delivering a benediction for mass. The pipe organ undertones come through like bellowing growls, grumbled from the bowels of beasts and creatures of the unseen. Kristina appoints a soft-saw-swinging guitar chord pattern, anointed by her hushed, but engulfing, whisper. The harmonic signals of danger are sung, inviting a tone patterned after the foreboding air-raid siren spray. Though "Dove" challenges conventional beliefs about the soul, body, and being, it rises up in the catharsis of survival and soars through the pained nature of suffering. The song sulks through strings that bend with both a classical approach to composition and a modern narrative of expressing sadness through slow-sinking quicksand.