Aeternitas – Haunted Minds

Aeternitas
Haunted Minds
Wormhole Death
48:08
November 20,2020

Actually, not too much has happened at Aeternitas. But the leaving of lead singer Oliver Bandmann was still a bombshell. After all, with his outstanding voice he made a significant contribution to the sound of the band. Guitarist and band founder Alex Hunziger, who can also be heard on earlier albums, has now taken on his part. And they recently signed with the Italian label WormHoleDeath. Otherwise everything is the same as before. The Lübeck still serve a mix of power metal and symphonic. And they use stories from world literature as inspiration. After their excursions into the fantasy worlds of Edgar Allan Po (“House of Usher” 2016, “Tales Of Grotesque” 2018), they close the circle on the 2009 concept album “Rappacini’s Daughter” and turn back to the novels by Nathaniel Hawthorne (including “The Scarlet Letter”). The result is “Haunted Minds” published in November.

The band calls it “the most powerful album to date”. This is hardly surprising, since Alex ’voice is more in the metal than in the musical / operatic area. The Northern Lights take this change on the microphone into account with a harsher sound. With the symphonic introduction to “Destiny” everything seems to stay the same for now. Wait, no, the heavier orientation is already clear here too. You can hear it all the more clearly when the singing begins. Julia still sings with her clear soprano, of course, but her singing partner already brings his rock / metal voice to the table. The synths in the background also play their part in the change. This interplay from symphonic-epic passages and heavy metal sprinkles continues with “Fountain Of Youth”. The catchiness of the melodies has remained, especially in the refrains. But here, too, the synth sounds are a bit overused. Interesting that “The Unforgivable Sin” with guest vocalist Henning Basse (ex-Brainstorm, ex-Firewind) is more reminiscent of the early Aeternitas. For me this is one of the highlights of the album. With “The Birthmark” the riffing can be particularly impressive. This song definitely has hit potential, especially because of a chorus that you can sing along with from the start. Here, too, the musicians build on their earlier work. “Fallen Innocence” is a wonderful ballad, which especially singer Julia Marou knows how to convince. “The Ring” is not inspired by J.R.R Tolkien. but rather from the short story “The Antique Ring” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which appeared about a hundred years earlier. Ex-Megadeth and ex-King Diamond guitarist Glen Drover has his guest appearance here. A lot of synthetic strings are used on “The Final Path”. That sounds a lot nicer than the hectic synths at the beginning of the album. At the very end the second ballad “My Haunted Mind” follows and this is arranged a little more minimally. The singer is almost exclusively accompanied by the e-piano, only supported by subtle strings.

When I saw Aeternitas live with this line-up for the first time, it took some getting used to. One was too used to the voice of Oliver Bandmann. Even with “Haunted Minds” it took several runs to make friends. But then the album won every subsequent listen. The musicians have made a virtue of necessity here. The new songs are tailored to the voice of Alex Hunzinger. During my live review, I had expressed the wish that the band would find an adequate replacement for Oliver. But on their current album the band clearly shows that there is another way.

Aeternitas – Fountain of Youth: https://youtu.be/qD1OCUWIZ_0

Lineup:

Julia Marou – Vocals
Alex Hunzinger – Vocals, Guitar
Anja Hunzinger -Keyboard
Daniel T. Lentz – Guitar
Rick Corbett – Bass
Frank Mölk – Drums

Track list:

  • Destiny
  • Fountain Of Youth
  • The Unforgivable Sin
  • The Birthmark
  • Castles In The Air
  • Fallen Innocence
  • The Ring
  • Another Day
  • The Beautiful
  • The Final Path
  • My Haunted Mind
Rating
  • 8/10
    Album - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Cover Art - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Song Writing - 9/10
8/10
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