Bands with little fanfare or press or even any sizable amount of information are usually either really good or absolutely horrible and unknown for a reason. Euphoreon, is a two-person melodic death metal project that comes by way of New Zealand and Germany and is one of those pleasant surprises. From what I gather, the project/band has been around since 2009 and did release their self-titled debut in 2011, which though reviews were somewhat limited, did garner some critical acclaim, which is easy to understand after listening to Ends of the Earth. The band is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the physical copies of the album, which would be worth picking up on the basis of Gyula Havancsak’s glorious artwork alone.
Perhaps fittingly, the music on the album works well with the artwork: beauty, intensity, power, with an underlying sense of melody characterize the songs, much like the artwork. The opening choir and guitar riff of “Euphoria” initially made me think this was going to be a power metal album, but then the tone shifted a bit darker and the growled death metal vocals came in. The layers of sound in the song are expertly displayed allowing the brighter keyboards to offset the dark vocals rhythm section with the guitars seemingly bridging the two spheres. The guitars do tend to dominate the mix, perhaps a bit too much, and end up hiding the drums and bass a bit more than I would prefer. Interestingly, the duo chose Tommi Halme to add in the guitar solos and they made a great choice there as the solos are blistering but well incorporated into the songs and without knowing it was a guest, you’d think it was one of the regular band members.