Aetherian – ‘The Untamed Wilderness’ (Lifeforce Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Phil Cooper   
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 04:00

aetherian artworkWhen one thinks of the genre of melodic death metal the mind tends to conjure up a list of Scandinavian artists with associated imagery of frozen plains, inhospitable wildernesses and the occasional Viking thrown in. Aetherian are set to challenge that preconception, the quartet hail from Greece and, since their inception in 2013 and release of debut EP ‘Tales of Our Times’, have been seeking to crack into the established collection of artists associated with the genre. ‘The Untamed Wilderness’ follows off the back of a self-released video for ‘The Rain’ in 2016, looking to secure a firm grasp of the genre for the relatively young band.

 

Opening with ‘Wish of Autumn Twilight’ the listener is greeted by a gently arpeggiated chord sequence with a clean guitar tone washed with reverb. The intro steadily builds before the overdriven lead guitar kicks in accompanied by the bass and drums. The rhythm and texture swells courtesy of the drums, before the dynamics alter allowing for the drums to take the lead and introduce a blast beat to set the tempo. It’s clear from the opening minutes of this track that Aetherian are a group of talented musicians each accomplished on their chosen instrument.

 

Crunching guitar riffs give way to powerful, catchy melodies and the guttural vocals seal the deal for the death metal aspect. The whole track builds to a climactic finish that encapsulates a ferocious full force of instrumentation. It some cases this could lead to a messy texture with each musician competing for the defining edge, however this is a very well mixed presentation and not only is each instrument clearly differentiated, it is also cohesive in its delivery.

 

‘As the Veil Fades’ follows a similar structure to the opening track without repeating the themes. There is still a clean guitar sound used for the intro before the full band comes in to provide the thick, heavy texture. However, this track works on layering the guitar melodies and riffs and delivers one of the catchiest hook lines on the album. Deeper into the album ‘Shades of Deception’ provides another excellent example of the song writing skills brought in by Aetherian. With the track title and overall theme of the genre one would consider this to be a relatively melancholy track delivering doom and gloom with drop tuned droning riffs. However, through the powerful drumming locking in with the relentless bass playing there is an underpinning of frantic energy that forms the foundation for the guitar riffs and melodies to bring the music to life. Once again delivering catchy overdriven melodies and throat tearing vocals the melodic death metal genre box is firmly ticked, yet there is a defining upbeat vibe to the track.

 

 

‘The Rain’, as mentioned previously, was released as a video by the band in 2016, on the album it features as the penultimate track and certainly fits in with the entire sound that has been delivered. Taking cues from all the main aspects of the genre, it is clear to see why Aetherian used it as a taster for what was to come. It is also sure to be a defining track for them that will be a great one for a live setting as there is plenty of scope for a mosh pit. If there is criticism to be found within ‘The Untamed Wilderness’ it’s that some of the tracks have the potential to come across as overblown with all but one track coming in at well over five minutes. There is the possibility that some listeners may not appreciate the build-up within the intros and be skipping ahead to where the meat of the music is as well as wanting shorter and more intense hits from their metal. With that being said, due to the high level of song writing the music develops well over the time used and does not stagnate.

 

Aetherian have certainly given the metal community something fresh to think about when it comes to listing top artists within the melodic death metal genre. Over these nine tracks they have provided some extremely well crafted and catchy tracks and have fully displayed a high quality technical understanding of the genre. Through both musical proficiency and excellent mixing and mastering, ‘The Untamed Wilderness’ is a powerful statement and hopefully will lead to much from the Greek quartet.

 

‘The Untamed Wilderness’ is released on 24 November. You can get your copy HERE.

 

www.facebook.com/Aetherianband/

 

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