9 Jan 2013

Eudaimonia - Hymn to a Dying World [Full length] (2012, Self-released)

The Danish one-man effort "Eudaimonia", while not entirely beyond categorization, is a project of highly diverse compositions. Once you think you get to know the band and the ambience-focused atmospheric pseudo-black metal sound he'll throw some flutes into the mix, forcing you to re-evaluate your opinion and thoughts of Eudaimonia. It is as such a band that is hard to pinpoint, and I have arrived at the conclusion that I have no idea what exactly it is Eudaimonia is trying to do. Through the predominantly cold and somewhat "natural" atmosphere shines something that I can't quite put my finger on. It is the level of experimentation that gets to me - Eudaimonia has 3 previous releases, none of which I have heard, so I really have no idea whether or not experimentation is the main deal of the band.

I found Hymn to the Dying World to be an album hard to get into and hard to listen to all in one sitting. Maybe I just don't "get" the music, but I do appreciate some of the tracks, namely Crepuscular Rays and As the World Dresses in Shades of Autumn which are actually some of the least metal tracks on the album. The esoteric disposition of the album is both it's main selling point and it's main weakness: I could imagine it would turn off a lot of people from listening to it more than once, but at the same time intriguing certain people to listen to it again and again.

Hymn to a Dying World offers an amount of different moods, such as the opening track "Mountains of the Sky" which is inclined to heavenly grandios themes instead of the desolate focus some of the other songs, A Song for the Sea and Her Sedctive Waves in particular, seem to have. I often find that albums like this work great as a whole, but with Eudaimonia I felt there was such a difference between the songs that I would probably be more inclined to listen to individual tracks depending on my mood rather than listening to the entire album.

It goes without saying that the Danish band surprised me. The cover art led me to believe that it would be straightforward atmospheric black metal, or perhaps something more in the vain of Agalloch. It is nothing so simple, though. While Hymn to a Dying World mostly isn't really my thing, I can definitely hear things of appeal. Especially the more drawn out tracks strike me as the best ones on the release. But ultimately I felt that the many different influences on the 7 songs were too sporadic and unrelated to form something of uniform charm, and it really didn't seem all that inviting to me. 6/10 guitars.

1. Mountains of the Sky - Gaia Part I
2. Algiz Aflame
3. Crepuscular Rays - Gaia Part II
4. In Mist Forgotten
5. A Song for the Sea and Her Seductive Waves - Gaia Part III
6. As the World Dresses in Shades of Autumn
7. Swan Song

Check out the music for yourself and download it for free at Eudaimonia's official bandcamp profile

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