Ethir Anduin (named after the delta of the Anduin-river in the Belfalas Bay; cf. Tolkien…) were formed in 2006, and the earliest years were characterised by a relative silence, at least when it comes to official releases. Sole member Alexei Veselov wrote several tracks, but none were released. As from 2010 however, Ethir Anduin did bring out lots of things, including several mini and full length albums. And now this project returns with the fifth album, I Magen Av Svart Kaos, which has a total running time of forty two minutes.
I Magen Av Svart Kaos is totally instrumental, and some might be disappointed by that. Lyrics, at the one hand, are able to create a specific atmosphere, of course, and at the other hand, vocals, if used correctly, might add an aural surplus to the instrumentation. But here we have to do without, whether you like it or not.
But don’t worry, because the instrumental compositions on I Magen Av Svart Kaos are all right. Ethir Anduin bring some sort of atmospheric, highly melodic and epic (Black) Metal with quite some elements from (Funeral / Melancholic / Atmospheric) Doom and (rhythmic / melodic) Post-Metal (not of the experimental progressive or exaggerated avant-garde or alternative kind, luckily). Of quite importance is the more-than-acceptable sound quality, lacking of primitivism, but surely avoiding to fall into modernized fakeness. That’s needed, I think, because instrumental pieces of average-lengthy duration do need something that keeps the listener attentive. And since this kind of material might cause disinterest or boredom, if not performed correctly, the sound might be part of the strength, of the attraction.
But I have to say: I do miss something. It might be personal, but I have the impression that this album lacks of balls. …and no, not because of not having vocals. The play itself is somewhat too artificial and clinical, maybe even too goody-goody. I miss the spontaneous pleasure of play, as if everything was re-polished with surgical precision in order to wash away any possible incoherence or failure. And it is not forbidden to draw outside the lines from time to time. Therefor I am not truly pleased with this piece. The intention is all right (read: the structural ideas are cool), but the lack of invention and bravery is a sad thing to experience.