Ewigkeit Conspiritus

UK musician James Fogerty may have saved souls with his former black metal outfit the Meads of Asphodel, but thankfully he has now taken up a more lucrative and profound stance as the brains behind Ewigkeit. Last year’s Radio Ixtlan turned heads with its Katatonia-meets-Pink Floyd aesthetic, and Conspiritus furthers that slant with more emphasis on keyboard-driven goth rock. The Floyd-like samples and incidental noise of "The Hypothesis” preface the excellent "It’s Not Reality” and "Square Sunshine,” with Fogerty taking cues from Anathema’s A Fine Day to Exit. "The Nightmare Institution” might’ve been swiped from the studio refuse of Paradise Lost’s Draconian Times sessions, and the techno accoutrements of "Far Away From Heaven” resemble a Young Gods ballad. "Transcend the Senses” is a true album highlight on the strength of its unconventional composition: the cut, woven around the looped speech of an unnamed rhetorician waxing on the persistence of truth and life, bristles with ethno-ambience and electronic backbeats. The Ministry-laced "The Thought Police” shows Fogerty opting for a more varied vocal delivery like Course of Empire’s Vaughn Stevenson. The Cathedral-esque doom swagger of "How to Conquer the World” is punctuated by more Paradise Lost-ish riffage, Bronx Casket Co. gothic keyboards, and a canned, stadium rock audience. The closing tracks add a world music spin: "Theoreality” sports Irish folk chords, while the title track could be a ditty from a Native American powwow, ending with dampened voices reminiscent of Supertramp’s sadly underrated Brother Where You Bound. Much like VAST’s debut, Ewigkeit bridge the gap between goth metal and electronica, and with producer John Fryer (Paradise Lost, NIN, H.I.M.) at the helm, Conspiritus should find a wider audience beyond the leather-clad hordes. (Earache)