Eremit – Desert of Ghouls

Discovering a new act is always filled with nearly limitless potential for excellence. No matter the style and no matter how experienced the musicians involved are, every new act you hear has the potential to become something you fall in love with. The epitome of that for me came in the form of Eremit last year with their massive debut album, “Carrier of Weight”. Just three songs but totaling over an hour-long, the record proved to be both my favorite sludge-filled doom metal that I had heard in years as well as my favorite record by far from last year. Before the album even released, Eremit was already hard at work on new material for multiple releases. The very thought of that was simply exhilarating for me, and with two releases still hopefully being put out this year, what’s not to get excited about? Eremit knows good pacing all too well, though, and it’s with their second offering that we get a 2-track EP that’s the natural evolution of its predecessor in every form from songwriting, production, story, and quality.

While this is very much a prelude to wet our palettes before the release of the band’s second full-length album in months down the road, that in no way means that “Desert of Ghouls” is an entry to skip over. It’s significant as a sign that shows the band growing off of an already-stupendous sound that we saw on their debut and it continues the same story, albeit more of a visage of what’s to come rather than a direct follow-up. And with two tracks that only result in a 20-minute runtime, “Desert of Ghouls” may seem short when compared to the other three tracks to Eremit’s name, but they use every one of those minutes to their absolute maximum potential to deliver us a gut punch that’s as visceral as it is satisfying.

Other than sheer heaviness, the name of the game here is riffage. Not a new thing by any means in any style of metal, but a proper riff given the exact right treatment can carry any song for a very long time. Eremit knows this extremely well, and both tracks are driven from one or two main riffs that are expertly placed throughout their respective songs that always result in the listener being hooked. Whether the listener is being sensed into a hypnotic lull or can feel the very suspense in the air through the riff itself depends on the song, but it nevertheless is something that grabs you by the throat in order to throw us into a place that Eremit has carefully crafted by hand which we don’t want to leave any time soon. Pair that with immaculate songwriting and pacing, and “Desert of Ghouls” will quickly become one of the heaviest earworms of its kind that you’ll likely hear for some time.

And then there’s the story that I simply can’t spoil nor can I even spill all the details because even that’s shrouded in mystery for me! We’re treated to flavorful glimpses into a wartorn and unsavory future of battles in a wasteland and the potential siege of a city in such a locale, but the finer details are left for us to speculate. Personally, that’s part of the fun for me; to figure out the story and to see how it could all connect with each other while also pondering what the missing previous chapters are that link “Desert of Ghouls” with “Carrier of Weight”. Eremit accomplishes the rare achievement of figuring out the details with only fragments given to you a joy which in it of itself is a difficult thing to do, and with amazing music on top of that, it creates a very fascinating release in every way.

It’s been since the rise and continuous prowess of Esoctrilihum that I’ve been curious when I’d find another band as talented, devoted, and capable as that which can bring something really awesome to the table at a staggering right. By far, Eremit fits that bill perfectly. “Desert of Ghouls” is an arguably immaculate follow-up to what this band laid forth before it, and it serves as an even better precursor to what’s going to come next. For me, they’re the most exciting and interesting band in all of the sludgy doom world, and I refuse to let their excellence go unheralded for I know for a fact this is something that throngs of people can get behind. And it’s only looking to get better from here.

“Desert of Ghouls” releases on July 17th via Transcending Obscurity Records! You can pre-order the album and stream an advanced song via Bandcamp here or via YouTube below.

Track Listing:
1. Beheading the Innumerous
2. City of Râsh-il-nûm