Ethereal Riffian
Crank this to 9.1 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Atmospheric metal, Progressive rock, Stoner rock
Sounds Like:
High on Fire, Tool
Monday, December 22, 2014

#3 ALBUM OF 2014
Monotone and robotic vocals dominate the aura that Ethereal Riffian creates. An aura that blends stoner rock grinding rhythms with a progressive rock outer shell. This vocal style is pretty steady throughout the album so we caution if after several listens it weighs on you, this may not be the album for you. After several listens, however, we found this vocal style to compliment very well the mood and style of whatAeonian brings. Almost as if it was another instrument within the progressive rock whirlwind Ethereal Riffian creates. There are sections within the album where the vocals do change whether it be into middle-eastern chants or a very brief hardcore scream.

The band consists of four members hailing from Kiev, Ukraine. While progressive and stoner rock dominate the album, we do hear elements of doom and psychedelia that accompany.

1. Thugman (Sensation) - 7:36  (7/11)
2. March of Spiritu (Rise of Sheol) - 11:34 (10/11)
3. Wakan Tanka (Awareness) - 12:09 (10/11)
4. Anatman (Oneness) - 11.39 (9/11)

The opener "Thugman" commences the battle hymn that is Aeonian. Steady rhythms and prodding aggressive guitar overpower this cut. The smoke settles within the last few minutes of the song unfold into a middle-eastern mystique as the vocals turn to subtle chants and harmonies. Solid opener that will give you a flavor for their unique sound. We encourage you to be patient here, because what is about to ensue are three tremendous and inspiring tracks. Enter track two, perhaps the start of what could be the best back-to-back tracks of 2014! "March of Spiritu" is a cacophony of combative percussion and jaw dropping guitar rhythms. We hear hints of High on Fire and Down believe it or not. What is best about this track is that the monotone vocals build into some hardcore screeches and interwoven along with some whispered chants. Track three, "Wakan Tanka" lets the ember and vast scenery settle with a soft intro as we hear what we think is a didgeridoo, bellowing bass. Really complementing the lull of battle. The track builds like a Tool song, persistent and vibrant all with an endpoint and objective. Check-out the occurrence at about the 4:45 mark, a screeching guitar, almost homage to Tool's "Sober". Very cool touch and very respectful. This leads into an echoed vocal effect that really warrants pause along with the rarely ever used rewind. Yes, we said it, rewind. Sensational on a good set of headphones. This bleeds into a Jerry Cantrell-like guitar solo... great diversity to this one. The last track, "Anatman" will remind you of a track off of Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason or Division Bell. David Gilmour precision in the guitar is prominent and the song paints some very peaceful landscapes. At about the three minute mark things explode into High on Fire territory, but then back down to monotone vocals we have become accustomed to enjoy. Very fitting track that provides closure to what we feel is a superb album.

Ethereal Riffian's Aeonian will continue to be a mainstay in our heavy rotation. Grabbing this album off of E-music for just over $3.00 is an insane bargain. You can thank-us later. We also urge you to pause and have a listen to the bands’ earlier album called Dkyil Khor, it features just one instrumental song running at 19:20 minutes in length. It is very ambient and meditative as it will put you in a tranquil mood. There is a wealth of special guest musicians here that help create this warm and exploratory track: Maxim Yuchimenko (composer), Valeriy Kornev (guitars, percussion), Alexander Kornev (bass), Nikita Shipovskoy (drums), Alex Lazarenko (flute), Andrei Latik (piano), Sergey "Boukvarique" (bongos), Yaroslav Kaminskiy (didgeridoo, jaw harp) and Radvil (throat singing). Although the music here will put you in whole new mind frame than Aeonian, it’s definitely worth your time and patience. - 12/22/1014

Standout Tracks: March of Spiritu, Wakan Tanka

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