The young progressive metal band Aitheer from Finland this year has released digitally the first EP “Sleeper” on which can be measured the quality of material. This is the first recording experience for Niko Löfman’s project, and his friends helped him in a recording session (the only constant member of Aitheer is Niko himself).
Musically “Sleeper” is a solid progressive metal album with a focus on the Scandinavian progressive scene (like Leprous or even Opeth), but the stylistic framework isn’t the principal point for Aitheer, the priority is placed on sincere and spiritual composing, free from any limitations. So sometimes it is an extreme heavy prog metal (“Deviation”), sometimes it is a melancholic progressive rock with a strong regard to prog/art rock of 70s (“Sleeper”), and sometimes it is a mischievous prog, influenced by rock ‘n’ roll attitude (“Dawn”). So there’s no doubt about the diversity of this three-song EP, where every song has its own temper.
“Deviation” is the most multifarious song with different singing techniques (clean vocals, as well as harsh screaming); slow, almost doom metal passage and electronic synthesizers. Aitheer pays great attention to guitar chords, which are the basic foundation of the compositions, serious and catchy, and no complaints about the reasonably lengthy and complicated guitar solos as well. The song “Sleeper” is the most atmospheric on the record, and a little bit sad, because of the reflective acoustic passages, but in the end it becomes heavier with a lot of drive. The last song “Dawn” after the hard ‘n’ heavy introduction moves along melodic death metal conception, till the strange keyboard solo emerges. Niko prefers the clean singing, but there’s no lack of extreme vocals either, and during the most emotional moments, the intensity of his artistic singing skills increases as well.
Despite the variable material, “Sleeper” sounds careless and light, because it isn’t overloaded with too many different musical elements and sounds harmoniously, but the technical level isn’t out of line, like it often happens with progressive bands, when the essence of music itself drowns in nerdy technical skills. Aitheer has a sense of decency in everything, and these three songs proved that Niko is really serious about the future of his band.
Release date: January 27th, 2020
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