Borne of necessity and honed in darkness, Ether’s sophomore release, There Is Nothing Left for Me Here, is a logical progression for a five-year-old band that formed with feet firmly planted. Citing personal turmoil, change, and introspection, the band is set to release the album July 7 and support it with a monthlong tour.
“We really just shoot for huge-sounding, whether it's big in a heavy/abrasive way or in a more low-key, soft, melodic, atmospheric way,” bassist Joshua Shomburg says. “It wasn’t on accident; we tend to throw away filler riffs, parts, and anything that doesn’t quite hit. All the major elements are still present from our first record but with a lot of growth.”
This growth is a continuation of decades of work given the bandmates' shared past as the popular metalcore outfit Remembering Never. Their independent ethos and honesty have always been the guide. Joining Shomburg in the rhythm section are drummer Daniel Burger, with Devin Estep and Peter Kovalsky on guitars and George Geanuracos on violin.
Yes, violin. Classical strings have been part of the program since the band's inception. And members share duties with other exotics such as toy pianos, banjos, and a gong. In the quest for sonic satisfaction, no cow should be sacred. These nuanced layers form delicate rickracks, giving the compositions a painterly feel.
So perhaps a little darker and sludgier this time around, the album succeeds in properly reflecting both the band’s psyche and the sociopolitical environment of our time. It doesn't delve into the era-defining content of, say, punk rock’s Reagan politics muse.
“Musically, it's more openly and unapologetically political/socially aware, which was barely touched on the first record,” Shomburg says. “We were completely different people than we are now, as a whole. All of us have changed in some major ways and just evolved as living, breathing citizens of the world, which I believe played a role in how we wrote the record.”
The album will receive the full release treatment, with copies available on CD, cassette, vinyl, and digital download from Dead Truth Recordings. Fans of Southern-edged sludge in the vein of Baroness and Black Tusk will not be disappointed. Where the band goes from here will be exciting to follow. These musicians are adept at creating intricate aural tapestries. Listeners are rewarded by burrowing deeper into the fold.
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