Ecferus- “Prehistory” Review & Song Stream


Music has long existed as a form of communication, often using sound beyond words to describe that which cannot be given name. Sensations and thoughts that are otherwise felt without name are given a home in song. When listening to black metal, often there is a sense of exploration and discovery, the thrill of treading new ground. Even in a genre that has existed for decades at this point, there is much to be found. This exploratory joy is given great focus on Prehistory, the debut LP from Ecferus. With the lofty task of visiting a time early in the history of mankind, Ecferus uses these four lengthy tracks to grasp at that which cannot ever truly be known.

The first comment I must make here is that humanity’s existence is still relatively new in the scheme of things, yet there is so much about our own past that we cannot visit, cannot understand. The cosmic wonder, then, is still a huge part of the human psyche. For all the technological advances, our role in the universe is so minute that for all of Prehistory‘s attempts at making one look back, I can’t help but feel connected to the present equally. This is black metal for stargazing, for the search of meaning. Despite the frequent use of faster passages, the sheer size of Ecferus seems to lumber along with harmonized guitars dueling and climbing atop one another, escalating towards something greater. At times, it’s hard to tell if the listener is hunting or being hunted, but there is something predatory and instinctive that Ecferus taps into here.

For all the searching, for all the lack of knowledge, Prehistory is a very confident album. Ecferus may join the listener in pondering it all, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the artist is a passive onlooker. Instead, listening in darkness, the listener is guided through the vast wonders of our brief yet very busy time on this planet. That humanity has survived itself for the thousands of years that it has endured is impressive enough, but the real feats I find myself reflecting upon when listening to this album are the many natural disasters and climate shifts over which humanity has triumphed. While the album hints at humanity’s well documented self-destructive tendencies on closing track “Walk With the Feral,” listening to Prehistory fills me with hope and wonder at the tenacity of humanity and its ability to continue on living when the world presents itself as an otherwise unlivable place. From our development out of the primordial soup and into the discoverers of fire and builders of civilizations, we have come so far in such a short time, and Ecferus makes artful use of both natural sound and primitive yet elegant black metal to create a beautiful depiction of all these things and so much more.

Curious minds will be delighted to know that I have received the artist and label’s permission to debut the opening track, “Mitochondrial Eve,” for your enjoyment. The song’s meandering nature isn’t just that of pondering and growing, it also carries a sense of foreboding, hinting at chaos and torments to come. In a way, the eleven minutes of this song set a fine map for what follows on the album, although each song has its own set of surprises. Here you can listen as layers of guitar weep and bleed into one another while the narrator howls fiendishly in the distance, with occasional bursts of fury. If you feel so enticed, pre-orders for Prehistory are available here.