Erimha- Reign Through Immortality

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, July 8, 2013

Victory Records has always had metal bands on their roster, but they have tended to be death metal acts like Jungle Rot and Pathology. The label’s latest signing Erimha finds them branching out further, as the Canadian band plays a mix of symphonic black/death metal on their new effort Reign Through Immortality while exploring elements of Sumerian mythology in their lyrical content. Like many of their peers Erimha has tried to create a balance of intense heavy hitting riffs and soaring atmosphere that results in epic arrangements, and while their ideas feel a bit familiar at times the album still has plenty of standout moments.

Like many of the other groups of this type, Erimha straddles the line between black metal and death metal without completely falling into either category. Their material places quite a bit of emphasis on keyboard arrangements, as the keyboards and guitars work together to create atmospheric melodies intertwined with much heavier riffs. Reign Through Immortality maintains a nice balance of fast paced, blasting and slower mid-tempo breaks that give the group the chance to refocus their attack and let the melody take over for a bit. Despite the familiar approach, the quality of the songwriting is apparent as the lead riffs continually pull you in and help to give each track a slightly different feel. It’s also worth noting that the keyboard arrangements are well written and don’t come off as cheesy like they do so often in the symphonic variants of these genre, and while they are pretty high up in the mix the guitar work is still able to break through. Erimha was able to hook me from beginning to end and it never felt as though they were dragging their ideas on for too long or falling into ideas that sounded exactly the same. The only real issue I had with Reign Through Immortality was that the drum work was a bit too over produced, as it has that super cleaned up, triggered sound that was a bit too clean and machinelike for my taste. I would’ve preferred a slightly more organic approach to give some additional intensity to the heavier sections, but this is ultimately a minor issue and didn’t make me want to stop listening.

Erimha’s vocalist Gore utilizes a higher pitched scream and low pitched growl, and he really gives it all when it comes to intensity. However, while the lower pitches break through the instrumentals and command your attention I found that some of the higher ranges had a tendency to get overwhelmed by the rest of the sound and were harder to pick out. This is another area that could be changed with just a small tweak, as giving the vocals just a little more of the mix would ensure that both the highs and lows were able to maintain a dominant feel. I’m not usually this picky about how clear the harsher pitches on a metal album are, but Gore’s performance was strong enough and hit such a wide range that I found myself wanting to be able to have the vocals right in my face for the entire effort.

While I still have some reservations about some of the mixing/production work on Reign Through Immortality, Erimha’s sophomore effort is still an album that I found to be a consistently engaging listen. Symphonic black/death metal can be one of those genres where bands are so focused on atmosphere and an epic feel that they end up being a case of style over substance, but this group actually manages to create standout riffs on a regular basis. It’s certainly not the usual genre I would associate with Victory Records, but if this signing represents a further shift towards these styles the label has picked a talented band to get things started.

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