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Eowa – The Year Without a Summer

eowa – the year without a summer


Last year a new Black Metal project emerged from the edge of the Peak District in the UK. Eowa was born through the ‘MMXXII’ demo; a fabulous debut offering that set the foundations for more wonderful music to come. Luckily for me and for all of you, Eowa, along with drummer Diane Galen have wasted little time in returning for a new foray into the Melodic Black Metal realm with a debut album entitled ‘The Year Without a Summer’, which comes adorned with pestilential, sorrowful cover art by Sean Bova. In time, there will be both a CD and a cassette release, but for now the album is digital only.

What follows is a mid tempo demonstration of precise riffs that carry with them a slight sense of unease, like the core of their sound is powerful and firm but around the edges the sound crumbles and splinters with the aid of crashing percussion and the tremendous rumbling of furious bass tones. All the while this archaic and apocalyptic methodical style is bolstered by a deep set growling menace, surging and intoxicating guitar rhythms, and higher pitched tremolo picking that adds a dangerous flavour into the already boiling over cauldron of sound.

As you may expect, ‘The Year Without a Summer’ has an overtly pestilential atmosphere, in no way hindered by tracks with names such as ‘The Blighted’, ‘Roots Encased in Frost’ or ‘Bread or Blood’. There is a good reason for this, as ‘The Year Without a Summer’ is based upon the volcanic winter of 1816 which was caused when Mt. Tambora (Indonesia) violently erupted causing the deadliest volcanic eruption in recorded history. This album tries and in my humble opinion greatly succeeds in relaying the horrors of what followed the initial destruction and devastation. That being wide spread pestilence, famine and a large amount of civil unrest.

In my view Eowa has hit the tone perfectly with this album, whose riffs are cold but also have a sound that keeps you on edge. Many Black Metal albums are intense in both sound and message but ‘The Year Without a Summer’ surpasses many of them through brooding passages of dark melody, raw passionate aggression and tremolo picking in a certain key that conveys so many differing emotions and situations; carnage, desolation, desperation and mistrust! The true constant of the album is the voice telling the story through growled ferocity that never wavers in its power or dedication. However, the myriad guitar tones, rhythms, and melodies keep the story flowing through peaks and troughs from start to finish.

A fine debut album, magnificently written and performed and telling a story from history that is off the beaten track, certainly from a solo act from the Peak District. A mesmerizing display of raw, savage strength and haunting harmonic rhythm, ‘The Year Without a Summer’ is an album that will take some bettering!


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