When it comes to instrumental music, bands find themselves with the added challenge of how to captivate an audience without the charisma of a vocalist or a noticeable member fronting the band. It is not surprising then to discover the caliber of bands in the post-metal/post-rock community and the high bar they are setting fledgling ensembles that attempt to bring something new to the table.
New Jersey-based Etherius have attempted to do just this with their debut EP Thread Of Life (self-released) by incorporating classic nineties thrash elements ala Megadeth. It can be argued that the majority of the thrash appeal lies in the abrasive and sometimes barking vocals, but for the most part, Etherius pull this off, to a certain degree of success.
Album opener ‘Thread Of Life’ wouldn’t be out of place in a Sonic boss level fight. With its closing seconds verging into DragonForce territory and is certainly a song to furiously collect rings to. The anthemic ‘The Soothsayer’ is clearly the stand out track of the EP, and is reminiscent of classic thrash while proudly flying its progressive flag, though ‘March and Defy’ and ‘The Inevitable End’, while technically impressive, lack the personality to ensure they are memorable enough to stick with you. Album closer ‘Lament’ does end the EP on a flat note, and this does not do the opening two songs justice. This EP should go out with fire and glory but instead does so with a whimper.
For a first time EP release, Thread Of Life is a promising start, and time will tell where Etherius go from here but there is some potential. It may not be a perfect release or one that will stay with you for long, but there is enough promise in ‘Thread Of Life’ and ‘The Soothsayer’ to prove that Etherius could be on the cusp of something both fresh and intriguing.