Founded by Christian Muenzner in 2014 (ex-Necrophagist, Obscura, Paradox, Alkaloid), technical power metal band Eternity’s End is about to unleash their third album, Embers of War through Prosthetic Records on November 26, 2021.

Pulling heavily from science fiction and fantasy, with a full-on embrace of over-the-top classic heavy metal, we sat down with Christian and explored the themes and inspirations behind the album in more detail via this exclusive track-by-track breakdown.

1. “Dreadnought (The Voyage Of The Damned)”

Christian Muenzner: “The opening track is the only song on the album that is based on a real-life event. It is about the Battle of Jutland which took place in World War 1 and was fought between Britain’s Royal Navy Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet. It took place from May 31 to 1 June 1916 off the North Sea coast of Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula. It was the last major battle in world history fought primarily by battleships. It was a really tragic and senseless event where over 8600 people were killed and no side won. Musically this track is in between US Speed Metal with ferocious riffs inspired by Riot and Savage Grace and the German school of Running Wild and Walls Of Jericho era Helloween.”

2. “Bane Of The Black Sword”

“This is one of my favourite tracks on the new album. It’s a fast and ferocious triple-based song that is also very progressive in the sense that it is full of key and rhythm changes and does not follow the classic verse/chorus/solo pattern. It has a deliberately more chaotic and unpredictable structure where the parts build upon each other. The choirs are huge and epic and there are a lot of awesome neoclassical sections in it. Lyrically, this song is about Michael Moorcock’s Elric Of Melnibone character and his sword Stormbringer. The sword gives Elric superpowers but also possesses him and ultimately even forces him to kill the people he loves. When he is in trouble Elric summons Arioch, the most powerful of the Dukes of Hell, who helps him but therefore forever owns Elric’s soul for all eternity.”

3. “Hounds Of Tindalos”

“This track is based on the story of the same title by Frank Belknap Long. It’s about a character experimenting in time travel, with the help of psychedelic drugs and esoteric artifacts. In doing so he discovers the hounds which inhabit the angles of time. Once a human becomes known to one of these creatures, a Hound Of Tindalos will pursue the victim through anything to reach its quarry. A person risks attracting their attention by travelling through time. H.P. Lovecraft also mentions them in his short story The Whisperer In Darkness. Iuri Sanson’s vocal performance really brings this track to life, and it has a huge anthemic chorus. The song is like a neoclassical Running Wild in terms of the pacing, riffing and guitar work.”

4. “Call Of The Valkyries”

“This is a very brutal and very technical track. Musically we were aiming to combine the power and intensity of Judas Priest’s Painkiller with the neoclassical finesse and technical riffing of Helstar’s Nosferatu album. Throw a little bit of Yngwie in the mix as well. You can probably also spot our background in technical death metal in this track, without using any of the superficial elements of the style, hidden in the riffing without breaking the heavy/power metal formula. Lyrically, the song is inspired by Norse mythology, it describes the feeling of riding into battle in the face of death, hearing the call of the Valkyries as you die.”

5. “Arcturus Prime”

“This song is high tech sci-fi power metal! It has the most technically challenging guitar work on the entire album, there are a lot of very technical riffs and a ton of over the top harmonized solos and trade-offs and even an insane bass solo and bass/guitar unisono section. We are heavily influenced by the twin guitar approach of Racer X, this song combines it with our more modern metal influences. It has the most Iron Savior-like chorus on the album. The lyrics are loosely based on The Fall Of Hyperion, the 2nd book of Dan SimmonsHyperion saga, where artificial intelligence has progressed to god-like power and ability and threatens the galactic hegemony. The AI resides within the farcaster portals which enable travel between the worlds of the hegemony throughout the galaxy and can only be fought by destroying that farcaster system.”

Artwork for ‘Embers of War’ by Eternity’s End

6. “Shaded Heart”

“So far this is the song that is most unusual for us in the history of the band. It’s a deviation of our normally rather straightforward speed metal approach and falls more into the realm of late 80’s progressive metal, heavily influenced by Fates Warning, Queensryche and Crimson Glory, but with a completely harmonized twin guitar solo that also could have been on Racer X’s Second Heat album. There are a lot of odd meters and an extensive instrumental section in the middle, but it also has a bit of an AOR vibe in some of the melodies. The lyrics deal with the question of death and where our soul goes afterwards and play with the idea of our consciousness becoming one with the cosmos again after leaving our earthly shell.”

7. “Deathrider”

“The lyrics are loosely inspired by the Ghost Rider comic series, about an undead biker cult participating in a death race. It’s a straight forward, ferocious speed metal song, combining the savage riffing of bands like Savage Grace or Bewitched with the virtuosic twin-guitar approach of bands like Angra and Racer X. It is also the first song that was written for the Embers Of War album.”

8. “Embers Of War”

“The title track is another deviation from our usual style. It clocks in at almost 10 minutes and adds thrash and black metal elements to our melodic speed/power metal sound. It has a high speed Blind Guardian type of structure where the verses are different musically and melodic guitar interludes appear in unexpected places, there is interplay between lead and choir vocals and a long epic middle section where the song slows down to a doomy pacing. The intro riff that comes in after the Latin choirs and cosmic guitar arpeggios reminds me a little bit of Norwegian Black Metal masters Emperor, then it goes into some very technical thrash riffs that bring to mind bands like Coroner or Holy Moses.

“The track also features a guest vocal part by Piet Sielck of Iron Savior. Despite the diverse influences and progressive structure it once again has a very anthemic and epic chorus. The lyrics are a sci-fi fantasy story which is also reflected on the cover of the album. The human civilization of a distant planet is attacked by a robotic alien race comparable to the Borg in Star Trek TNG, which seeks to enslave humanity. Through ancient spells, the planetary inhabitants resurrect a legendary hero from their culture’s mythology who leads them in the war against the cyborg regime.”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.