Ether - There Is Nothing Left For Me Here album review

Sonically divergent sludge, with strings attached

Cover art for Ether - There Is Nothing Left For Me Here album

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Ether’s hardcore-driven sludge, despondent doom and American folk might sound jarring at first, but the Floridians’ second album is an interesting addition to the underground canon. For Every Nail, A Noose begins with startling aggressiveness, all multi-headed screams and riffs channelling Neurosis circa Times Of Grace, before turning to Type O at their most grave. The song’s transitions could do with some refinement, but the band strike a more articulate balance as the album progresses, despite the need to rein in the lengthier tracks. The inclusion of a violin brings gravitas to this style of metal, and Ether make great use of it, increasing drama during the likes of No Gods, All Masters. The gothic clean vocals also differentiate Ether from similar acts, while the palpable intensity rampant during We Are The Empty Vessel Where Life Used To Grow and Fleas Of A Rat provide the cathartic release sludge metal is synonymous with.