Esoctrilihum – Eternity of Shaog

I don’t know. I just simply don’t fucking know! How can any one man sit down and continuously pump out music at a staggering quality that never once dips but, instead, skyrockets like no other act out there? How is that possible? I’ve been racking my brain for days at this point as to just how exactly Esoctrilihum is capable of that, and if you know anything about me you know that a new Esoctrilihum album is always a momentous occasion that demands your full attention. The albums that this act puts out are like nothing else I’ve heard from any other band out there, and it’s with every album that I find myself absolutely bewildered and enamored to the increase in quality from an already-stupendous spot on the previous record. I really truly thought that Esoctrilihum would have the ever-so-slightest of a downward curve (not even by one degree, maybe) after the other-worldly masterpiece that was last year’s “The Telluric Ashes”. Now, explain to me how this upcoming effort is even better!

Esoctrilihum is very much one of those extreme gems of the underground that you feel privileged when you first stumble upon it no matter how it came about, and it’s the exact sort of act that treats its listeners like royalty with the extreme quality that we’re given at every turn. I could sit here and tell you just how exactly Esoctrilihum has gotten to this point, but it’s a journey that I highly encourage you to listen to on your own volition. The French act takes black/death metal to new heights with each release, and, somehow, “Eternity of Shaog” is no different! Bringing in a terrifying usage of melody, an extremely infectious and effective use of piano, synths, and violins, and continuing amazingly elusive lore that was laid forth all the way back two albums ago, there isn’t a single thing about “Eternity of Shaog” that isn’t destined to become lost in and Esoctrilihum makes it a one of a kind journey every step of the way.

What you need to understand about this album or any material from Esoctrilihum for that matter, is the simple fact that if you try to make too much sense out of it, you’ll end up finding yourself trying to unravel a Lovecraftian universe that becomes more maddening the deeper you go despite how satisfying it can easily become. Between the chaotic guitars and the transcending rhythms that we lose our minds in, we are subjected to the deep lore that Esoctrilihum throws forth before us as the whole of this album slowly takes us before its titular deity outside reality, Shaog, whose incomprehensible existence in a reality of nothing is somehow captured perfectly in the haunting cover art.

Right from the beginning to the tormenting end, “Eternity of Shaog” always keeps us guessing as to just what exactly Esoctrilihum will devise next on several levels from a musical level to the storytelling to virtually everything else you can think of, and there’s no question that he pulled it off masterfully to the highest degree here. And the melody is simply undeniable! Before this album, I didn’t think you could squeeze anything else into this sound without it falling apart, but it’s at every fucking turn throughout “Eternity of Shaog” that we see it done to an outstanding degree such that I can’t help but walk away from this album wondering what exactly Esoctrilihum can’t do. Everything about this record comes together so well that it leaves the listener absolutely astounded as to just how exactly it has come out in the most immaculate of fashion, but it’s by the end I can almost guarantee you won’t be able to do much else other than play the entire album again as quick as you can.

Of all the albums I was expecting to release this year, this was not one of them and I’m a damn fool for not expecting it. As the fifth album in a four-year period, is there any reason this album should be considered any less than Esoctrilihum’s magnum opus thus far that shows us for the fifth time in a row the undeniable genius that we’re spoiled by on a yearly basis? There isn’t a single thing put into “Eternity of Shaog” that doesn’t equal a masterpiece in the end, and I still can’t believe Esoctrilihum managed to do it for the fourth time in a row. Now, we sit in wait yet again for the next offering next year. Or maybe sooner?

“Eternity of Shaog” releases on May 22nd via I, Voidhanger Records!

LISTEN to an advanced track from “Eternity of Shaog” on Bandcamp here.

LIKE Esoctrilihum on Facebook here.

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