Ecliptic
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Ecliptic

Springfield, Virginia, United States | SELF

Springfield, Virginia, United States | SELF
Band Metal Avant-garde

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TRANSCENDING THE MUNDANE

Ecliptic - Mysterium Cosmographicum
Country: USA Genre: Death Metal

Wow, suddenly the town of the great JAXX nightclub—Springfield, Virginia—has some great bands to claim as its own. I don’t care much for Timelord, but Mind of a Madman is wonderful and Ecliptic might be even better.
I had the pleasure of seeing a number of great death metal acts recently during an Enslaved show at JAXX (where else?). Ecliptic were the hometown boys cutting their teeth before the likes of Arsis and the aforementioned Nords. They impressed and I picked up their 5-song demo, Mysterium Cosmographicum.
The opener, “Sleep of Reason,” reveals a thinking man’s death metal act. For a three-man band these guys put out a lot of sound. Guitarist/vocalist Markus Hampel has a deep, vicious death growl and he plays solid rhythm and lead guitars that have a technical vibe. The pace here varies from blast-beat death to confident, explorative sections with easier tempos. The epic quality of the lyrics and feel of the music remind me of another Virginia native, Garden of Shadows (R.I.P.). Some of these bizarre prog jams sound like Yes on testosterone.
The next track, “The River Flows On,” begins with some spoken word by Hampel. This is an element he likes to play with. I asked him if Orson Welles’ work with Manowar had been an inspiration to him (“Defender”!) and he looked at me like I was about to stab him. The melodic quality of this stuff is wonderful and they are so open about sound, even though the production here is not very crisp. I just love bands that aren’t afraid to jam and throw convention out the window, and Ecliptic fits the bill. The end of this track is sick, with crazy screams, beautiful acoustic guitar, and more spoken word. Creative s*** for sure.
“Cassini Division” is a short acoustic piece that leads into “Passing the Singular Point.” Hampel continues to experiment with different sounds on guitar. His strength is on rhythm; he’s a competent lead player but they are stronger live for having a second guitarist, Evan Hopper. Another great creative touch when this song ends by melting off the turntable.
The closer is “The Five Ways.” A wonderful track, you can get lost in these riffs, they are majestic and wonderfully epic. The lyrics continue a theme on the album which has been the idea of man transcending his physical form and evolving into a higher state of consciousness. Not quite as dark as Warrel’s “The Fault of the Flesh,” but equally thought-provoking. Check out the great breakdown in the middle (nice grooves by drummer Sidney Mortensen) with more spoken word. I’ve got to credit his rhythm mate, Nicholas Kuhn, too, because the guy plays hard live and he looks like he could be the kid sitting next to you in high school. Hampel continues to take chances on guitar here, moving through a number of compelling jams with Mortensen and Kuhn exploring their inner Rush. It’s an impressive end to a great demo.
Hampel told me the guys are about to head into the studio to record a full-length. I’m glad to hear it. I can’t wait to hear what they’re going to do with some production quality—they deserve it. Ecliptic actually dates back to 1999; they put out a demo a year later with a different bassist. The experience shows. They’re a mature band (concepts and music) and a great addition to any death metal collection.

Reviewed by: Ladd Everitt
- Transcending the Mundane


Discography

1999 - 4 Song (Demo)
2004 - Mysteriium Cosmographicum (Demo)
2010 - As of Yet Unknown (Full Length

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Bio

As an aural stimuli Ecliptic began its existence in 1998, formed by Markus Hampel and Sidney Mortensen. It is the embodiement of an idea of musical perception, a purpose given substance and cause given effect by the macro and micro of existence.
What we create is not often easily defined, fitting within and yet without many genre specific parameters, so classify us how you see fit. At present we reside on the Eastern shore of the North American continent, however as a mental and auditory form we hail from parts unknown and draw our water far and wide. As individuals our origins reside in the old country but we claim no geneology as our own, for we are everything and nothing, merely what others will us to be... and that which is perceived...