Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Ether Coven : " Everything is Temporary Except Suffering"
The band has their sound dialed in for sure. This is their 3rd album so they know what they are going for . This seems to be a brand of sludge that is more infused with hard core than any of the other sub genres that touch upon these songs. Four minutes into the 11 minute opener they touch upon a darker more melodic sound, that employs sung vocals that remind me of Woods of Ypres in their haunting yet booming baritone. The vocal style employed by these guys is the more forceful hardcore grunt. That finds their throats shredding with anger. On "Flower Crown" they employ a powerful chug and it conjures comparisons to a less black metal version of Tombs. They do not give up on their punchy hardcore tendencies. More of the atmosphere and melodic mood returns for the third song. There is moody post rock set against the kind of dark hard core tinged sludge that they have been dishing out the first two songs , so nothing new.
They lean into more of the hard core side, but with a darker more dismal slant on " Of Bitterness & Shame" . There is a more post rock like middle section to this one. They roar back with a more blackened touch of blastiness. This is pretty brief so do not be quick to call them black anything. They break away from metal with the more acoustic feel of "House of Strangers" . It is still more Woods of Ypres than Swans. More atmospheric elements begin to work their way into the songs. "the Burden of Loss" is more of an instrumental interlude than a song that stands on it's own two legs. There is a massive chug that opens up the 13 minute " Enjoy Life". The heavy does not last long as a more melodic strum takes over the song along with the sung vocals . When the heavy does return it has more of a hard core kick to the sludge factor.
The Last song "Unravel" does a good job of wrapping together all the varied sounds of the band and making one cohesive song with them all,. It has melody and atmosphere along with the sludge driven punch they like to throw at you. Aside from the Woods of Ypres vocal that is hard to shake, I think this album really does a great job of bringing darkwer atmosphere with hard core sludge. I will give this one a 9 and see how it sits with me over the course of the year.