ETERNAL HELCARAXE (Ireland) “Against All Odds” CD review by heavymetaltribune

ETERNAL HELCARAXE (Ireland) “Against All Odds” CD review

by heavymetaltribune

By Hong Rui

Having been around since 2003, this year marks the release of Irish black metal band Eternal Helcaraxe’s debut full length album, with just a single demo and an EP under their belts prior to this. The amount of time the band has taken for the release of this album, and this being one of the first encounters with Irish extreme metal, certainly left me curious as to what Eternal Helcaraxe would sound like. With the Tolkien-inspired band name, it would be easy to expect this to be a folk-related release with a heroic theme.

As the album begins with Claim Your Place with the Gods, one is almost reminded of recent atmospheric black metal bands, such as those in the veins of Shroud of Despondency’s recent releases, complete with the melancholic and emotional feel that has been put in place, both through the melodies and through the instrumentations that have been included on the album, though Eternal Helcaraxe does have a more epic feel with the slow build up on this opening track. As well, guitarists Praetorian and Maulgrim on tracks such as One Stand Still Here help to accentuate that heroic and somewhat viking element of the band’s music, with the riffing on the track at times sounding almost like a blackened version of Amon Amarth.

Throughout the album, clean and acoustic guitars and keyboards are all fully utilised, often creating a nice soothing atmosphere, yet lurking amongst it all is a slight tinge of sadness that can be detected. The lead guitars on some tracks are melodic, and this brings about a nice contrast compared to the chaos that goes on around, and whether intentional or not, these tend to end up resulting in Eternal Helcaraxe sounding like a depressive black metal band at times, though this is certainly not a bad thing. The vocals on the album in particular help to display the constant shifting moods that occur as the album progresses complete with the usage of clean vocals at strategic moments like on As the Snow Gathers, and this is particularly enjoyable, though the gruff vocals on title track Against All Odds did sound slightly out of place, causing the track to falter slightly. Keyboards on tracks like Invictus are also charming, helping to bring out and emphasise the epic and courageous feel of the lyrics of the track. The orchestration towards the end of As the Snow Gathers is particularly rousing.

Another thing that helped to mar an otherwise flawless experience was We Assist Death, with that annoying, repetitive intro riff, sounding extremely awkward and out of place from the rest of the instruments, which fortunately lasts for only a short moment before the song begins proper. However, such awkward moments are few and easily overlooked through the consistency, the flow from song to song throughout the album and the quality of the music for the most part, making Against All Odds an extremely impressing debut release.

Review link:

Eternal Helcaraxe Links:

Official Website:




Last fm:

Abyss Records links:

Online Label & Online Music Store:




Last fm:


Other links:

To Order ETERNAL HELCARAXE “Against All Odds” CD, “To Whatever End” CD EP, or their first CD EP “Palest Kingdom” go to:

To preview a song from “To Whatever End”:

And to preview a song from “Palest Kingdom” go to:


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