Ethereal: Opus Aethereum

Respectable debut from long-running UK outfit

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Despite having been in existence in one form or another for over a decade, Ethereal have only released a couple of EPs between 2005 and 2011.

The Liverpudlians seem to have made up for their slow start by becoming a far more active and professional proposition of late, racking up regular live appearances in the last year or so.

Debut full-length Opus Aethereum is certainly reflective of that, demonstrating more-than-proficient musicianship and coordination, the tightness and intricacy of the songs only accentuated by the precise and sizeable production of the Wieslawscy brothers, best known for their work with Behemoth. The latter is not an entirely inaccurate comparison, since stylistically speaking Ethereal now play a denser and more technical take on black metal than previously, drawing obvious influence from death metal yet also heavily augmented by ‘symphonic’ synth work. As you might expect from such a combination there isn’t a huge degree of dynamics at work, but there’s no questioning the intensity of the material here and the apocalyptic overtones give this a definite sense of purpose.

Via Candlelight