Album Review: Aethereus – Absentia (The Artisan Era)

Absentia is the upcoming full-length album from Tacoma, Washington-based progressive/technical death metal outfit, Aethereus. Set for release on August 10th 2018 through The Artisan Era. It is the follow up to the 2015 Ego Futurus EP.

Absentia is the group’s first release with new members Matt Behner on drums (ex-Fully Consumed/ex-Year of Desolation) along with Vance Bratcher (Vocalist) and Scott Hermanns (Bassist) who play in the highly praised Seattle symphonic death metal outfit The Devils of Loudon. The new line-up rounds out an already strong musical foundation set by founding guitarists Kyle Chapman and Benjamin Gassman.

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Spitting out tangled riffing alongside rancour death metal rhythm, Aethereus are a beast of a metal outfit. Cascades of Light and Writhe laying down the marker for how modern death metal can sound.

The merits of the crushing heaviness, melodic and symphonic moments are many. Aethereus getting the blend of severe bloodthirstiness and dismal outlook right with relative ease. Mortal Abrogation serves as a brief break between the pulverising metal with a short symphonic tune to build anticipation for Fluorescent Halls of Decay and the title track. Both delivering the same high-tempo and meaty death metal riffs, bass hooks and raging vocal performances to keep Absentia on the path of fiendish darkness.

Aethereus really let their technical skills come to the forefront with the odd but very interesting, That Which is Left Behind. The lighter guitar tones sounding misplaced alongside the heavier roars of death metal but not lacking in excitement either. Certainly the most testing track of the album but one that shows they’re not a band willing to stick to the tried and tested formula of progressive death metal.

Saying that though, The Black Circle does exactly that. As box tickingly effective as you’re going to get with this style of music before With You, I Walk drops a super short haunting piece that is fairly innocuous.

Absentia wraps up with one last raging vortex of progressive death metal as The Pale Beast causes utter devastation in its wake. A hefty finale that caps of a hell of a listen perfectly. Not without its faults, Absentia does more then enough though to be considered a must listen for fans of technical death metal.

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Aethereus – Absentia Full Track Listing:

1. Cascades of Light
2. Writhe
3. Mortal Abrogation
4. Fluorescent Halls of Decay
5. Absentia
6. That Which is Left Behind
7. The Black Circle
8. With You, I Walk
9. The Pale Beast

You can order the album here and via Bandcamp here. Find out more about Aethereus over on Facebook.


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Aethereus - Absentia (The Artisan Era)
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