The band’s Facebook profile tags their sound as epicleptic power death / progressive metal; a description which pretty much does sum up the anarchic fun of the Ethmebb if still leaving their imagination short changed. Their music is crazed, it is drunk on almost schizophrenic adventure, and at times it certainly leaves the imagination intoxicated but as shown by new album La Quête du Saint Grind, it is also a myriad of flavours, skilfully sculpted, and downright fun.
Apart from emerging in 2012, apparently from “the still-smouldering ashes of Grindcore band Ethmeb”, there is little more we can tell you about the Paris hailing quartet but then again their debut album does all the talking. Wrapped in the fine artwork of Nicolas Dubuisson, the release swiftly makes a potent impression, first track Tathor, l’Echalote de ses Morts soon feeding and adding to the intrigue already sparked by its cover.
Opening up a tale of a mighty warrior and his adventures as he tries to get back his Grind stolen from him “so he can get laid again”, the starter is an atmospherically suggestive, melody caressed instrumental. It is ‘similar’ to many imagination stroking starts that metal and progressive releases seem to hold but a vibrantly pleasing one, its more straight forward body a deception to the mania to follow.
That creative ‘insanity’ is uncaged through Lost my Grind. Riffs rifle the senses immediately, their enjoyable invasion soon joined by the dawning of melodies and floating harmonies as wiry grooves entangle the progressively nurtured blossoming of the track. A tenacious blend of power and death metal with that progressive nature envelops ears though it is only part of the picture as symphonic elements merge with grouchily aggressive and subsequently blackened essences, not forgetting various other unpredictable twists of fun. The vocals of guitarist Rémi Molette are a guttural trespass enjoyably tempering and complimenting the melodic quest of his and Victor Tunidjah’s guitars, their sonic web radiant and evocative within the epic nature of the song.
It is an excellent start soon eclipsed by next up Orlango Blum. From caressing harmonies it surges through ears with cantankerous riffs and majestically flourishing keys. The bass of François Santenoff throbs provocatively in the midst of the enticing tempest as the rapier like swings of drummer Damien Baissile pierce the folkish lined melodic death canvas. There is a touch of Trepalium to the song, 6:33 too, but quickly it stretches its already riveting tapestry of sound and imagination into something irresistibly unique and compelling. Melody soaked passages are oases in the storm yet every imposing second is a conjuring of raw aggression, creative ferocity, and seductively bedlamic enterprise.
The warrior’s quest continues through GPS: Gobelin Par Satellite and A la recherche de la découverte de la quête pour trouver le Saint Grind, the first a thrilling mix of the raw folk ‘n’ roll of Ensiferum and the creative psychosis of Carnival in Coal involved with plenty of other strains of imagination while getting involved with a great array of clean and dirtier vocals. Its successor is just as eclectic, from an acoustic stroll weaving a colourful intrusion of extreme and melodic endeavour all bound in an unhinged devilry.
It is fair to say that the Ethmebb sound is not going to connect with those only hankering for straightforward metal but for an appetite for creative boldness bordering on the meshuga; it is manna for the ears as proven yet again by next up Pirates of the Caribou. Concussive in its touch, promiscuous in its flavours, the folk/power metal fusion roars with drama and prowls with venomous intent, guitars spinning another inventive web as vocals anthemically unite and melodies swagger with boozy spicing. Its ebb and flows in intensity are just as masterful and alluring, as too its aggressive invention and multifarious nature.
Bruce Lee mena l’Amour brings the release to a close, the track probably the most loco of the lot though smouldering in persuasion initially before growing into its inventive skin with every passing minute to heartily convince. With a growing theatre of sound it is a fine end, though listen out for the Pryapisme like hidden track, to a thoroughly enjoyable and impressive debut album from Ethmebb and the beginning here to a greedy appetite for their insanity kissed world.
La Quête du Saint Grind is out now and available through https://ethmebb.bandcamp.com/album/la-qu-te-du-saint-grind
Pete RingMaster 01/02/2017