One gets the distinct feeling that this meeting happened someplace horrifically dark and hateful–a place you wouldn’t want to go without a floodlight and a baseball bat. Somewhere, in fact, like what must lay just out of sight at the end of that foreboding staircase on the cover of A Fever Which Would Cling to Thee Forever. A place where an encounter between doom and black metal ends in locked jaws and a death roll of savage beauty. Likewise, the music on the Poe-obsessed Eyes of Ligeia’s fourth full-length effort is in large measures both classically graceful and gritty and unnerving. This is a sound that takes some time to become accustomed with, but is well worth settling into.
EoL has cultivated a well-integrated marriage of black and doom metal that’s able to capitalize on the atmospheres and other strengths of both styles. Aside from shorter and nearly instrumental opening and parting tracks, the songs here are long, punishing, and dynamic. The band spends most of its time at a mid tempo gait, but frequently slows for head bobbing meditations, regal marches, or winding and surprisingly graceful guitar lines (“A Strange and Fitful Presence” and “Watcher in the Water”), some of which would make the Isis fanclub swoon. The pained shrieks from lead Eye Dante come from well beneath it all, almost as if he was haunting the walls of that pictured corridor. The rhythm section establishes a broad, doomy foundation for the sharper battery of vocals and guitar. But things are interchangeable and flow well. “What the Moon Brings Pt. II” explodes with the band’s most unmitigated black metal offense of blasts and tremolo work, but eventually shifts into a nice variety of tempos and textures. The title track is especially effective, as although it’s built from the same game plan as its peers, it just has more of everything that makes this album a great listen, and the song’s gripping intensity gives it the feel of one of the more epic songs on the set, although the runtimes say differently.
A Fever Which Would Cling to Thee Forever is the kind of atmospheric nastiness that will appeal to fans of the big names of the one-man black metal scene, but should cross over to a wider audience as well. The album’s visceral power offset by graceful dynamics and song structures make it an interesting listen and well worth tracking down.