Premiere: Lör – “Eidolon”
Are you a fan of progressive power / folk/ true / black / melodic death / like every genre ever / metal? If you answered yes to any of those, Lör has something for you.
Writing about this track is hard, because unlike some generic 12 minute stoner track, more than 2 riffs happen. In fact, a TON of things happen. The first comparable pieces of music I come up with are pieces like Schubert’s Death and The Maiden first movement or Max Reger’s Oh Tod, Wie Bitter Bist Du, the latter of which is easily my favorite choral piece. What I’m trying to say is that this song is DENSE.
I originally wanted to split the discussion into two halves, but then I realized the first half could be split into two halves, then realized you could split the first half into three parts, and then I just doubted myself and resigned to start writing because I will continue to subdivide this track until I’m describing literally every single riff in excruciating detail in order to adequately cover this. As much as I would love to stay up until 5 am and skip work and listen to this track 50 more times (it’s still not even close to getting old yet,) very few of you would stick around to read a fat nerd like me describe in painstaking detail every single riff, every time a theme from earlier in the song returns in a cleverly disguised way that rewards attentive listeners, or every single emotion this song journeys through. I won’t be happy if I don’t feel I haven’t adequately covered the track, so I’ll do my very best to keep my description as simultaneously brief and thorough as possible.
Okay, let’s be honest with each other, I’m going to over analyze the HELL out of this track, because it deserves it. I’ve listened to the whole album multiple times already, and I can already tell you that every single track has at least this much thought put into it. This is not even my favorite track. DO NOT MISS THIS ALBUM. Keep in mind we are previewing one track, and I’m opting to write more than I’d normally write for a full review. If for whatever stupid reason you get this far into the article but also decide to skip this track, just click play once the album is released, then come tell me this isn’t AOTY material.
As noted above, this song is dense, and has quite a sections of narrative. It opens with a keyboard intro that, honestly, does not promise much. In context with the whole song, it is a genuinely good intro that I love now, but at first listen, it can come off a bit generic. The next riff is a big ol’ daddy riff, which really gets us ready for the madness to come. This first riff sets a trend: not a single riff will repeat more than twice without either changing to a new riff or a new variation until the latter half of the song.
As the big ol’ daddy riff transitions into the song proper, we encounter a tentative, fearful sounding dirge. Lör quickly rushes through it into a quiet, melancholic chorus. “Life slips away, to my weary dismay. As I draw my last breath, I’ll wait here for death.” As the chorus’s final breath escapes, a build up into full on skronk shatters any semblance of peace the listener may have found. From this point on, anger rages against the fate life has dealt the narrator. Here, the fear is gone, and anger is king, as furious riffs rip into one another until the melancholic chorus returns to lament the end of a noble life. (side note: if I ever see the band, I will break my neck to the section at 2:38 – 3:06). This time, there is far more resolve in this acceptance of the passing of life. Afterwards, the big ol daddy riff from the beginning returns, then Lör brings us into full on prog shred/riff territory by effortlessly switching from an alternating 7/4 5/4 riff into a variation of the previous riff into a 4/4 riff. If you think it ends too early, just hold on, we get more later.
Next up is this spooky section that leads up into a totally feral black metal romp utilizing similar themes/variations from before. What’s so stunning to me is how natural and excellent this section sounds production wise. This band could write an entire black metal album in this style and people would praise it’s atmosphere and production, yet it only lasts 20 seconds. It ends with a nice tremolo section, right back into our wonderful shreddy prog section previously mentioned above. We get a solo, then a variation, then back to the alternating 7/4, 5/4 riff, then onwards.
A short, bombastic section of long, drawn out vocals over sweeping guitar melodies leads us to the end. At this point, the song is clearly marching towards unavoidable destiny as it builds into a long drawn out chord. Keys swell in and out like the waves of an ocean. At this point, the first half of the song has concluded. All confusion, anger, sorrow, and regret has passed. From here on out, we only accept resolution. Before, Eidolon was like a shifting sea of sand, never remaining the same as time passed. From now on, one central key theme anchors this song down in a final, but not necessarily triumphant, manner. Of course, this theme is sped up and interrupted by a solo and following guitarwork that represents total nirvana of the narrating character, because this is a metal band and this is how it should be. The build up continues, and you can just tell listening to it that something huge coming.
Finally, after the constant build up of emotion and tension, we are treated to the true resolution of the song at 10:44. Very few songs have a release such as this. Layers of vocals come in as if to guide the listener or narrator to an eternal resting place. The fight is over, the journey has been completed. Very few songs achieve such a cathartic level to my ears, and Lör have more to be proud of in this song alone than many bands have in their entire careers.