"Past and Present Sins" (Necropolis; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


In Aeternum play a style of blackened death metal that's being done much better by other bands. In Aeternum's blackened death metal is more death than black and, when black metal influences are included, is certainly more like chaotic black rather than symphonic black metal.

Yes, it's easy to dismiss "Past And Present Sins" as simply a collection of demos, covers, and live material, but the truth is "Past And Present Sins" offers absolutely nothing new to the death or black metal scenes. A couple of tracks did stand out, oddly enough, from some of the band's 1995 recording sessions. "Defeat Life" and "The Storm Of Triumph" rise above the din if only briefly.

The recording quality of the four live tracks, "Wolves Blood," "Revelation Of Hell," "Ultimate Warfare," and "When The Vultures Left" is less than stellar although it seems the performances are adequate. In 2001, better live recordings are possible. Despite its rawness, "Ultimate Warfare" offers an interesting glimpse of In Aeternum's potential. At the very least you walk away knowing that In Aeternum can do just as well in the live setting performance-wise as they do in the studio.

It should be noted that fairly standard covers of Venom's "Countess Bathory" and King Diamond's "Abigail" are included.

However, if you are a fan of Usurper, Opprobrium, Aeon, or War (or Total War as they're being marketed that way in the U.S.) the likelihood that In Aeternum will suit your tastes just fine is quite high.

"Past And Present Sins" was produced by Tommy Tagtgren.

In Aeternum is: David on vocals and guitar, Paul on guitar, Mats on bass, and Joacim on drums. Other musicians include Karlsson-Kill on bass and John on bass. Destruction's Schmier sings on "Cursed Legions" and D. Parland plays a guest guitar solo on "Abigail."

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01 Apr 2024 12:16:14 -0500 .