A+ A-


Recently, I bought a tape of the album ETERNAL NIGHT by FIEBERTRAUM. It was released by power_lunch foundation back in April. In the last month or two, I have been buying a lot of vaporwave tapes. I am excited for this one to come in the mail. Unlike with most things, I reviewed this first on Bandcamp. I wanted to get a sticker pack that the label was offering. The intent was always to do a longer review too, so here we are.

ETERNAL NIGHT has some nice cover art. An image of a broken-down android in a comic/tattoo style that combines cute and creepy (basically superflat), the cover drew me to the album right away. The cover artist, Sungmin Choi, was not a familiar name to me before writing this review, but I found some other samples of her work online. Check it out if you haven't already before we move on to the album.

"BEHIND THE SECRET DOOR" is a great start. It reminds me of musick from the game Tenchu: Stealth Assassins except formatted more for stand-alone listening instead of as a soundtrack. Creature cries pierce the air between the crystal chimes and echoing percussion. Despite the name, "LEVITATION", sounds like a place underground, perhaps a location that is "BEHIND THE SECRET DOOR". The song changes quickly though, an interrupting synth creating the precarious sound of flight, a vision of cool-colored polygons of an abstract landscape. "OCCULT HOWLS" comes out of the darkness of space. A dark ambient/witch house chill from a damp basement or a hidden waterway. Cosmic horrors surround the listener as a drone fills ears with hypnotisms. Bright sounds happen, and then a fade out. Fade in the harsher "ROTTING FLESH", a harder-edged track with a beat and screechy drones. The layers of sound are like the layers of flesh being examined in a video nasty or, perhaps, an early Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson film. There's still a pop sensibility despite the gore. "FORSAKEN LANDSCAPE" is bleak, a mess of damaged computers, tangled wires, hissing static Shinya Tsukamoto nightmare. Someone cries out in the montage of agony, and perhaps there is some kind of redemption at the end. "THE SKY TURNED BLACK" is another spooky track. I spent a few days last week in a cold RV. This reminds me of the feeling I got during the first few nights when I wondered what was outside. The different effects and instruments on this track are really expertly done, and I think that this could work very well in a horror video game (really thinking of Darkwood here).

The short "MANIFESTATION" begins the second side. I find this track somewhat out of place, slightly cheesy, at least at first. A sort of horror-synthwave, the track makes some sense as it goes, but the chunky instruments feel like they are from a Perturbator album instead. "VIRTUAL VANITAS" goes back to the hauntings, a cloudy mirror in an abandoned mansion somewhere in the Japanese countryside with a portal, or at least a vision, to a calmer realm. This one is a little uninspired-sounding; I can't really explain why. I do like it overall, but it feels slightly less polished than much of the first side. "ZEITGEIST" is the creepiest track yet with horrid voices, odd ringing, and sounds of chains or pipes. Creaky doors and all, it's a scary soundscape. "THE HORIZON FADES AWAY" is a calmer track, a penultimate resolution similar to a more ethereal battle with Lordran's Lord of Cinder. It's a transitory track into the true ending, "OBSCURE MEDITATION". Was it all a dream occurring from the tormented mind? Or is this a funeral dirge, a bagpipe-played song for those lost, a transition to an otherworld?

I do not have the answer for you, dear readers. I can recommend this release whole-heartedly, however. ETERNAL NIGHT is a greatly imaginative work that expresses fears that combine the paranormal with the mundane. On chilly nights such as this, I may have the album playing somewhere in the background to ready myself against always new terrors.

ETERNAL NIGHT receives a Good.

FIEBERTRAUM's ETERNAL NIGHT is a great ambient/vaporwave soundtrack to a paranormal experience.