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terça-feira, 6 de junho de 2017

Æther Realm - Tarot (Full-Length Album - 2017) - Soundcloud Stream

Thor's hammer crashed to the earth with a mighty rumble. When the smoke cleared, there were some guys. Some stuff happened that set the mood, something about a quest to rock some towns, and now they play melodeath.

Æther Realm formed in June, 2010, consisting of Vincent Jones (Bass/Vocals/Synths), Heinrich Arnold (Guitar), and Tyler Gresham (Drums). The first year of their existence was spent writing music, playing local shows, and generally creating the foundation that the band would be built upon. In 2011, Jack Rodriguez­Dougherty joined the group on guitar, and their lineup was solidified.

In July of 2011, the band entered The Basement Studios with Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, The Human Abstract, Wretched) and recorded their first two­song demo, Odin Will Provide. The demo was released in September of the same year.

The band began recording their first full length in January 2012, and released the first single, Swampwitch, from the album in May of the same year. Their first tour followed, hitting the majority of the east coast in June. Their debut full length, One Chosen by the Gods, was also recorded by Jamie King, was released in January of 2013, and was accompanied by another short promotional tour.

In May 2013, Æther Realm toured the East Coast and Midwest with Wilderun, another folk metal band from the US. The band has since been playing regional shows and writing new material. The first single, entitled The Magician, from the band’s untitled sophomore album, was released on November 27th, 2013.

On 2016 after a solid debut, a whirlwind tour with Alestorm, and a successful crowdfunding campaign the band recorded the second album. Featuring 11 tracks totaling 73 minutes, “Tarot” hits various styles and tempos along the way and shows a huge amount of diversity, heaviness and musicianship. With two tracks having been previously released as a single (“The Magician” and “The Chariot”) the rest of the album seems to be all new stuff. One super bonus part of this album right of the bat is song lengths…..a few as short as 3 minutes with an epic album closer topping 19 minutes. 

It seemed the band was destined for some great things. The singles that followed certainly gave the impression of something even greater. Turns out, those impressive tracks only scratched the surface of what the band has been able to do with this release.

At 73-minutes in length, Tarot is packed with highlights and a staggering amount of diversity. It’s hard to really describe the album without going into the nuances and direction of each track – there’s folk, melodic death, black, progressive, and it’s merged with compelling synths, a choir, and gang vocals at times. It’s very clear that the band found its essence early with OCbtG, but have done some maturing over the last few years as well. The fun, energetic Children of Bodom influences still reign supreme on some of the tracks, such as the instantly infectious romp of “The Tower” and bouncy vibes of “The Chariot,” along with the party-friendly “King of Cups” (complete with guest vocals from Chris Bowes of Alestorm), but beneath the fun are grin-inducing guitar licks and melodies that stand up well beyond listens in the double-digits.

here’s a more progressive side to the band that rears its head in a number of tracks, perpetuating the ‘epic’ feeling found on the debut and giving it an even more satisfying sound to wander in. The entirely gorgeous “Temperance” sounds like a glorious bonfire track, slowly building up from acoustic guitars and clean vocals to an ethereal sing-a-long. The slower pacing and effective use of some sneaky melodies within “Death” combine with a catchy chorus show a more grounded take on the band’s usual approach. On the other side of the spectrum, “The Devil” boasts multiple tempo shifts, including some killer clean vocals atop blastbeats and later Opeth-esque progressive rhythms and an acoustic break, to give the song a larger than life feel.

But the album’s greatest accomplishment is that of the 19-minute closing epic “The Sun, The Moon, The Star.” Starting off with some 8-bit fun before diving into grandiose riffs and combining much of what makes the album work in smaller doses into a track that has it all, yet retains an impressive mission statement. Despite an excellent start, there’s also a build-up to the song’s climax, with bassist/vocalist Vincent ‘Jake’ Jones singing a few emotive lines over some synths that explodes into a final movement with gang vocals and screams along with one more return to one of the most elegant melodies of the album. 

Simply put, Tarot is an album to be treasured. Lengthy albums can be tricky to maintain the same level of quality from start to finish, but you’ll be enthralled by the get-go and completely sold by the end of your first listen. This scribe has previously referred to the band as one of the US folk metal scene’s best kept secrets, and one can only hope that changes with the release of Tarot. Something this masterful should not be kept hidden. Source: Dead Rhetoric (Rating 10/10).


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Formed in: 2010
Status: Active
Years active: 2010-Present

Vincent "Jake" Jones – Bass, Vocals
Heinrich Arnold – Guitar, Vocals
Tyler Gresham – Drums
Donny Burbage — Guitar

Country of origin: United States
Location: Greenville, North Carolina

Genre: Melodic Death/Folk Metal
Current Label: Primitive Ways Records
Agent: Jake/Heinrich
CEO: Jake/Heinrich

Last FM:Æther+Realm

Tarot (Full-Length Album - 2017)
Release Date: June

Produced by  Kyle Odell
Orchestrations by Dan Muller from Wilderun

Guest Musician
Chris Bowes (vocals) of Alestorm


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