Tech Death Thursday: Eartheria
Two albums in and Eartheria are already one of the strongest bands in the genre. We’re going to take a look at both those albums; trust me when I say you don’t want to miss this one.
- Tech death maestro/painter Valsa Pintura is recording his next song. Check out his previous work here if you want a unique take on familiar tech death ideas.
- The new Inferi single is godly. Revenant is out on April 21st through The Artisan Era.
- Xenosis just put out a video for “Night Hag,” which means you have the perfect excuse to go listen to their phenomenal new album again.
- Beyond Grace also put out a video for “Apoptosis,” my personal favorite song from their debut last year. If you’re not familiar with it yet for some reason, go catch yourself up.
- Alterbeast have come to Feast. Stream the full album here and watch as I eat every negative word I had to say about it over the last couple months.
- Rivers of Nihil have a new single out as well, and it’s just so damn good. Check out the premiere of “A Home” and an interview with the band at Invisible Oranges, and look for Where Owls Know My Name on March 16th.
Throes of Time starts off with a big, emotional lead that sounds like it could veer into either Insomnium-style melodeath or power metal territory, and “Tempest” honestly isn’t too far off the mark for either of those things. It’s melodic, heartfelt, and moving, but also driving and upbeat; the constant barrage of mid-tempo double bass and tremolo picking will keep you moving, but these aren’t just throwaway sixteenth note chord progressions. The riffs are some real ear candy, complex enough to keep things interesting, but never so much that you’re overwhelmed by what they’re throwing at you. The exploratory guitar fills echo the best of Allegaeon, and the solos will make any fan of the modern prog movement salivate.
Despite being a debut, the band shows an aptitude for using their sonic palette to the fullest; they paint in broad strokes, never dipping too much into the low end or reaching too high. The music feels balanced in a way that a lot of traditional tech death doesn’t. Wild, constantly dueling guitars are cool, but it’s easy for them to feel thin when they start blazing skyward with no regard to the bottom end. This is a problem that Eartheria never has; their big, beefy tone gives the riffs some heft, and they do a great job of filling space without the song feeling crowded. On the rare occasion that both guitars do go off on leads, it’s done briefly, making those moments much more impactful than if they were a constant. With a propensity for songwriting, good production, and solid mastering, Throes of Time is a great album for fans of melodic tech death.
Right from the start, it’s clear that something is different on Awaken the Sun. It’s dark and imposing, the sanguine nature of the debut replaced with melancholy. It’s a substantially more intense experience, taking Virvum’s playing technique and filtering it through the lens of Rivers of Nihil’s dark, earthy musings. Awaken the Sun feels older and wiser; it’s less eager to get from idea to idea, and there’s this pervasive sense of mysticism throughout its run. Each song, and the album as a whole, is more focused than its predecessor, but the deeper examination of its themes makes it feel more varied.
The songs have become more complex as well, both from a performance standpoint and the aforementioned sonic structuring. The riffs explore more of the guitar and the drums change up their beats more frequently. Chords and melodies are weaved together in greater cohesion and much faster than before, but as frenetic as it can get, nothing ever feels like it’s done just for show. Each song is upwards of six minutes long, but there’s not an ounce of fat on them; no single moment is wasted, no note made redundant, and it makes the album an incredibly tight listen. If that wasn’t enough, it sounds much better than the debut as well. The tone is both clearer and thicker, and the vocal performance is much, much stronger. Tasteful use of clean singing makes the package that much sweeter. In short, Awaken the Sun is one of the strongest tech death releases of the past couple years; no mean feat given what’s been coming out.
Long story short, Eartheria fucking rule. They have everything I like in a tech death band, and they do what they do extremely well. If you like what you heard today, give Eartheria a shoutout on Facebook. You can pick up Awaken the Sun at the Bandcamp link above, and Throes of Time is available on iTunes. That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so until we meet again,
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