Review: Etherial Winds “Find the Way… Together” [Cyber Music]

Review: Etherial Winds “Find the Way… Together” [Cyber Music]

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Score 40%
Forgotten for a reason
40 %
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Thanks to that decent piece of artwork that brings to mind nostalgia and romanticism, you’d think that Etherial Winds were yet another forgotten band that released one solid album before splitting up. Unfortunately that’s not the case and while Find the Way… Together sounds far more aggressive than you’d think (something I definitely have no problems with), this has to be one of the poorest Dutch extreme metal albums that I can think of.

Surprisingly enough, Find the Way… Together sounds pretty riff-centered, as many death metal riffs rapidly emerge over the softer keys and gruff vocals, but unfortunately, they end up sounding tasteless as hell. Imagine the tremolo riffs that could be traced way back to bands such as Death, Obituary and Morgoth – now clean these up to a point that they no longer recall the nasty smell of corpses or the terror of getting chased down by zombies. Instead, they end up sounding pretty mechanical and cold and while this isn’t an issue with riffs that are well written (think of the riffs of Darkthrone’s Soulside Journey, for instance), that’s just not the case here. You’d hope that some of the mid-paced moments could make a difference, but even during those, the guitars aimlessly chug along with no substance. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with simplicity itself, yet plenty of doom/death metal bands would compensate by being all creative and doing things that were unthinkable of before. In Etherial Winds’ case, you end up with tracks like “Hunger” and “Hymn of the Gladness”, both which already sounded already pretty damn generic in 1991, let alone in 1995 when Find the Way… Together came out! Granted, some individual sections sound decent, such as the violent, riff-mania of “Wish”, or the melancholic build-up of “Can’t You Sleep?”, but proper tunes these are not.

Interestingly enough, the last two compositions are the most interesting ones out there, albeit for different reasons. “Elements of Sorrow” opens up with some ominous bass-lines before the gruff vocalist starts to sound more like an angry bear, the guitarists finally decide to speed up after a minute and a half of chugging along as if they were half asleep and even some angsty clean vocals appear halfway through. It’s a classic example of a band trying too much with disastrous results; something that, unfortunately, plenty of bands had a thing for in the 90’s. Only the early Amorphis-meets-Morgoth “Tragedy” ends up leaving a good impression behind for once – it’s something that I’d expect of the record’s cover artwork, where some autumnal key motives appear between melodic lead riffs and chaotic faster passages that actually work well together.

Then again, not every band was destined for greatness, but then again, what would you expect from a band that couldn’t even spell their own name correctly? Don’t even think of checking Etherial Winds out and move on with your life, will you?

Release date: January 1995

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