Aetherian - The Untamed Wilderness

Aetherian - The Untamed Wilderness

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(CD/LP, Lifeforce Records, 2017)

Using those two-word labels to describe music is efficient only if you want to have a rough idea of what an album or a band is musically about. I mean, you won’t search for a Metal album under the 'Pop' category, right? Aside for this convenience, using genre labels can be misleading, especially for those who like a specific type of Metal, so it may take a couple of words to misguide them and miss something they’d like. Reading the term ‘melodic Death Metal’ on the description of AETHERIAN’s debut full length record, can be easily mistaken as another (early) IN FLAMES or DARK TRANQUILLITY wannabe and that would be such a shame since “The Untamed Wilderness” crosses many boundaries and has the tendency to venture across many Metal styles.

I remember reading about this Lifeforce release a while back, but after getting hammered by the huge number of new albums, “The Untamed Wilderness” slipped through my radar. Fortunately, the release of the animated video for “Black Sails” rekindled my interested to that extent that I just had to get my hands on the entire tracklist (and the smoky blue vinyl edition). Speaking about this song, I was totally blown away by the RUNNING WILD references starting from the song-title, the animation and the guitars which although have the Gothenburg sound close to heart, they reminded me of Rock ‘n’ Rolf's magical riff hand. I know that this may be difficult to pinpoint and - really - it does not matter at all because “Black Sails” is a fantastic song. The guitar layers mixed with the mid-tempo rhythm and the growling almost Mikael Stanne-esque vocals are more than enough to get you hooked. The part where the band switches to a higher gear ramping up the revs with some awesome riffs is headbanging heaven and - yes - you’ll be double-checking if AETHERIAN come from a Scandinavian country and not from Greece in no time. Yeah, the moody blackness, the minor arpeggios and the guttural singing are friends with misty, cold and grey-colored landscapes. “Wish Of Autumn Twilight” opens the album in exactly this way, serving the melancholy through clean guitar melodies and if you forget for a while the Scandinavian scene, you'd add SÓLSTAFIR in the references list. Sure, the moment the guitar distortion enters and the bpm increase, then it is back to AETHERIAN’s version of the Gothenburg sound. It is amazing that despite the long time duration of this song, the composition is far from being stale and repetitive (as it usually happens in albums from this scene) and this is one of the things I enjoyed in “The Untamed Wilderness”. Notice how “Shade Of The Sun” enters the Black Metal territory before getting the groove back in an absolutely catchy way that will get you hooked right away. Again, the clever mix of the multiple riff layers gives depth to the song and I will give additional credit to the sound engineer for changing leading roles between the vocals and the guitars, guiding your listening attention accordingly. Speaking of painting landscapes using the all the shades of grey, you should check the fantastic duet of “Clouds Gathering” and “The Rain”; the first track has only clean guitars doing all the hard work (there are some string arrangement putting the icing on this cake) priming your ears and your mood for the pounding “The Rain” where the bass dominates the rhythm section. You just have to listen closely for that and this can be a hard thing to do considering how great (again) are the guitars. The way the Greeks are changing the tempo is a delight and the melodies delivered will get stuck from the very first album spin. The album closer is equally impressive with the rest of the tracklist starting off with in Doom-esque hard-hitting rhythm (oh my, that bass sound again!) before speeding things up with some Black Metal-fast snare-drum action. To be honest, I’d love to see AETHERIAN doing more mid to slow tempo stuff, but at the same time I wouldn’t like to see them abandon the faster ones... You can never satisfy everyone, right?

I barely scratched the surface of “The Untamed Wilderness” with the above words; the complexity and depth of AETHERIAN’s music goes beyond the melodic Death Metal sound, so you should be ready to invest some serious listening time to get all the flavors which I think go hand-in-hand with this frigid winter time (at least, on this side of the Atlantic). Highly recommended!





01. Wish Of Autumn Twilight
02. Dark Earth
03. As The Veil Fades
04. Black Sails
05. Seeds Of Deception
06. Shade Of The Sun
07. Clouds Gathering
08. The Rain
09. The Path


Panos Leakos - Bass, Vocals
Nikos Parotidis - Drums
Angelos Maniatakos - Guitar
Giorgos Evgeniadis - Guitar