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Renaissance is the fourth studio album from American sludge doom band Euphoria Down, released on December 15th 2000 through Acidic Records. Like its predecessors (1995's Psychedelium, 1997's War Dogs, and 1999's Natyr), Renaissance was praised for its technicality and originality, as well as another sucessful endeavour at a concept album, this time focusing on the dark side of the Middle Ages. It is followed by 2002's Nativity, and is the last to feature Jeff Contela on drums.

Recording and background

After touring heavily for the 1999 opus Natyr, Euphoria Down returned to the studio in early 2000 eager to record more new material, even after less than five months after Natyr. Peter Eriksen recalled that during the writing process for Renaissance he was 94% of the time stoned, or wasted, and that it helps him drift off to ridiculous places and draw lyrics and ideas from them. Recording for Renaissance went from April-September 2000, and Peter Eriksen has also recalled the album yielded immense creative length from everyone, despite it being Jeff Contela's final album with the band.

Release

After wrapping up recording in September 2000 the band released Renaissance on December 15th, less than two months later. The album sold well, and is regarded as the band's breakthrough in several countries.

Reception

Renaissance was generally well received by critics, they said "you would think Euphoria Down would turn the other way with the new millenia, but they are still firmly grounded in their sludgy gothic roots. With Peter Eriksen's Type O-esque vocals, and the guitar mastery of John Monten, the band have delivered another estranged journey with Renaissance".

Lyrical themes

The focus on Renaissance is the era that the album takes its name, with lyrics ranging from the Spanish Inquisition ("Diablo") to the countless accusation of women being witches ("Heathen Girl"), and the religious fervor of the time ("Flagellant"). The album was praised for the lyrical complexity and interest.

Jeff Contela's departure

According to Peter Eriksen, Jeff Contela had made the decision to leave Euphoria Down after Renaissance, due to family issues. Eriksen and the rest of the band hold no animosity to Contela, and have said in many interviews "he is our blood brother, he forged this band with us and that will never be broken, no matter where he roams".

Track listing

  1. "New Era For Man" - 7:14
  2. "Diablo" - 8:00
  3. "Heathen Girl" - 5:44
  4. "Flagellant" - 4:23
  5. "Jesus Obsession" - 4:49
  6. "Dark Lust, Vampiric" - 9:00

Personnel

  • Peter Eriksen - vocals
  • John Monten - rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Levi Donetelle - bass
  • Jeff Contela - drums

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