Thick in emotional tension and driven by a seemingly personal drama Your Wandering Ghost, the new album from French band Ethersens, is an enthralling and provocative encounter which strikingly sparks the imagination. The successor to acclaimed debut album Ordinary Days, the new release sees a shift in sound from the band and arguably brings a greater intensity than before and though it demands a focused attention to reap all of its depths and textures it rewards by providing the strongest satisfaction. Brought to our attention by French metallers Eryn Non Dae’s guitarist Franck Quintin, the album is an evolving emotive adventure which leaves thoughts deep in reflection and emotions hungry for band and release.
The Toulouse hailing Ethersens was formed in 2002 by friends and guitarists Johan Bourrut and Mickael André (also bassist in Eryn Non Dae). The first year saw the band take shape with several line-up changes and it was not until the following year with the arrival of drummer Stéphane Nestiri, bassist Fred, and vocalist Stephane that Ethersens found its serious intent and presence emerging. The members experience working in bands such as Eryn Non Dae, Zubrowska, Talian, Disphoria, and Eradykate gave the band a focus and shaped the decision to work immediately towards an. Ordinary Days was unveiled in 2008 to strong critical and fan responses, its progressive and dark metal blend an impacting persuasion on a great many. The following year saw departures and the recruitment of vocalist Laurent Mora and bassist Rémy Boyer alongside the founding members and Nestiri. With their sound moving to a more progressive/alternative rock mix inspired by the likes of Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Pearl Jam, and Alice In Chains; its touch lighter but atmospherically more empowering emotionally than ever before, Ethersens were soon creating Your Wandering Ghost, eventually recording it with Julien Soula at Antistatic Studios.
Released like the first on Italian label Scarlet Records, Your Wandering Ghost is a concept album looking at ‘a relationship between two people which takes a tragic turn, a story about a lost love which tends to be re-born into death, regrets and sorrow.’ It is a release which at times is as intrusive as it is seductive and persistently is an intensive incitement for senses and emotions. From the opener Two for One Mind, the album steers thoughts through an imposing and riveting landscape of varied emotions, at times sharing raw and caustic issues lyrically and sonically and in other moments soaring through atmospheric climes of ethereal and dynamic temptation. More often than not the extremes are merged into one enthralling narrative as with the potent opener. The song instantly has a melancholic air through the first rub of guitar chords, a shadowed ambience slowly immersing the senses as the equally darkly lit vocals and words also begin their narrative. It is a full seduction even with its heavy hearted breath and has intrigue alongside a keen appetite alert for the expanding provocation before them. Through its nine minutes of intensity sculpted suasion the track unleashes its emotional and physical muscle, rhythms unreserved in their dynamic buffeting across the expanse whilst bass and guitars craft a tempestuous and enthralling blaze of skilful invention to voraciously capture the imagination and offer a lingering contagion.
The first track is an explosion of ingenious mergers and skilled enterprise which grips and shakes the senses from start to finish. A mighty towering entrance by the album it soon relinquishes some of its hold with the following Same Goodbye. To be fair attention is not lost or disappointed but with a smouldering exploration of emotional shadows and being a slow invasion of the passions placed right after the immense starter it is given a hard task to remain at the same plateau. Nevertheless with Mora continuing to show an excellent voice and delivery, emotion dripping from every syllable, and the guitar painting from Bourrut and André only adding the richest hues to song and ears it keeps the album firmly under an eager gaze before the similarly tension clad This is Where You and I Part Ways and the excellent Livin’ Memory provide their edgy and powerful presences. The first with the drums impressively framing another emotional maelstrom smothers and invigorates in simultaneous strength whilst its successor shapes peaks and intimidating climbs to high summits with abrasive riffs and sinew driven rhythms. With as ever strong vocals riding a stirring wind across the sonically rugged landscape, the track is a scintillating triumph, a mix of soaring beauty and mistrustful energy providing light and dark in a thrilling slice of rock invention.
After the Mourning Light, a song like the second on the album which misses out on igniting a fire in the emotions but still provides an undeniable quality and impact with its presence, the album hits another pinnacle with Reflect. The track is a voracious assault which entwines its anger and spite with a melodic seduction and sonic expression which tempers yet coaxes the intimidating predation of the song. As happy nagging and riling the senses as it is caressing them with mouthwatering beauty, the fiery declaration is glorious and the best track on the album.
Completed by the emotionally instigative Waking Disorder and the smooth yet tenaciously inciting To Live is to Forget, two tracks which undulate and entice the passions with infectious might and invention, Your Wandering Ghost is a rapaciously compelling experience that strongly impresses and richly pleases. The album needs time to show its strengths and rigorous depths as mentioned but proves Ethersens to be a band which leaves no creative stone unturned and emotion not wrung out. Wrapped in stunning artwork from French visionary artist Romain Barbot, this is a confrontation to wrap up within especially if fans of bands such as Karnivool, Katatonia, Opeth, and Tool…
Your Wandering Ghost is out on January the 20th via Scarlet Records.
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