Sometimes one knows they are going to enjoy a record. A one man black metal project who self releases black metal records about cosmic themes and obliteration? Yep, this should be simple. Eternal Valley was already halfway in the door just by glancing at previous records and album artwork. The deal was sealed however at the oozing synth which washed over the album’s opener “Path To An Astral Existence.” Sometimes riding on convention allows like minded people to flock in droves to a star which just about to collapse and die.
Though Eternal Valley plays in a style which I personally love, it should be noted that the project’s 5th release since 2013 is well crafted and precise in its balance of sound. Compared to the early releases, including When Darkness Fills All Dimensions, the maturity in both sound and theme has grown from primitive DSBM to cosmic ambiance. In fact, Ascend To The Unknown is the first record which departs the project’s love for earthly depression and gloominess. Previous tracks like “A Hole to Die In” are contrasted against new ones such as the full instrumental interlude “Celestial Ascension.” While the 2013 release Concealed In Nothingness was a well constructed depressive black EP, Eternal Valley shines with the addition of space themes and near new age synth. This sin’t because I am already a fan of the style rather music connects when it is allowed to grow naturally.
Ascend To The Unknown falls in line with other space obsessed contemporaries and creates a distinct sound which is separates from the likes of Mare Cognitum, Darkspace, and Ad Infinitum. The use of atmosphere as a selling point allows songs like “Celestial Ascension” to work in this record when it wouldn’t have in others. It should be noted that the project’s depressive work prior to this is just as interesting. The space theme, however, has taken the sound to new realms. Ascend To The Unknown is a fantastic step for Eternal Valley which could see the project go literally anywhere in the universe.