about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_eibonlafuries_theimmoralcompass001006.jpg
The UK's Eibon la Furies have returned with their sophomore full-length release, 'The Immoral Compass'. Renowned within the genre's underground fraternity as black metal iconoclasts and purveyors of musical innovation, they've continued their sonically avant-garde journey on album number two. I'm not one to get hung up on genre labels, or even care for such, although a fairly accurate description of what Eibon have created here would probably fit comfortably under the 'innovative dark metal' label as 'The Immoral Compass' sees them veer further from their black metal roots. The album is something of a heterogeneous retro-metal hybrid with elements of trad, black, thrash, prog, symphonic, and death mixed up with a sporadicity of goth-tinged and ambient interpositions but all wrapped up in heaps of sonic darkness. And, conversely, through all of its retro pastiche, 'The Immoral Compass' actually succeeds in sounding fairly modern, such is its innovative and progressively stylistic fusion. Influences are perhaps a little too blatant at times, such as during certain passages of 'Astronomy in Absences' where the galloping riffage bears more than a passing resemblance to Sabbat (notably 'For Those Who Died') and, later in said song, a barrage of up-tempo, arpeggio-fuelled leads brings to mind Coroner's 'Last Entertainment' although Sabbat and Coroner were, of course, two of the hegemonists during the late-80s/early-90s progressive thrash movement so this fits in with Eibon's penchant for the innovative.

It's a well-paced affair throughout with tempo changes aplenty both within and between songs on an album that'll incite you into alternately banging your head during its palm-muted thrash impetus, swaying wistfully to passages of mesmeric ambience, and sitting back in admiration at the progressive technicality of the whole thing - the drumming, in particular is rather phenomenal. Production-wise, a little more polish here and there would've been nice and it's crying out for a tad more oomph to some of the guitar-centric passages where the rhythm playing lacks enough bite to be fully effective. Having said that, this is a band without the recording budget of Dimmu Borgir et al; far from it in fact, so what Eibon have created with their more limited means really is rather remarkable. And, in one sense, too much polish would've killed some of the album's charm as this still sounds like actual people playing real instruments. It's organic rather than over-sterilised and that, in itself, makes 'The Immoral Compass' a refreshing listen amidst a scene that's all too often plagued by a whole load of clinically produced, very similar sounding records. 'The Immoral Compass' is a unique and exciting record, and one that has its own distinct character with both retro and modern flavours. It'll also keep you on your listening toes throughout with many unexpected twists and turns. For those who like their metal to be both a somatic and cognitively stimulating experience, then this is the album for you.
Review by Mark Holmes
16th Sept 2013
1) The Compass Awakes
2) Immoral Compass to the World
3) Astronomy in Absences
4) Imperial Jackal's Head
5) Flames 1918
6) An Enigma in Space and Time
7) Who Watches the Watchers
8) Conjure Me
9) Ascending Through Darkness
10) The Vanguard; 11) The End of Everything
12) The Compass Remains
"For those who like their metal to be both a somatic and cognitively stimulating experience, then this is the album for you."