Album review: The Untamed Wilderness – Aetherian

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I’ve been following this Greek melodeath act ever since I stumbled upon them on Bandcamp. Their single, The Rain, highlights everything I love about the melodic death metal genre. Bands like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, In Flames and Soilwork are some of my favourites, and, well, You can now add Aetherian to that list. Aetherian boast a stellar bassist/vocalist in Pano Leakos. This guy growls with the very best of them, but Leakos is also incredibly passionate in his delivery really making him stand out in this sometimes saturated genre.

Then we have the songs which pound you into the dirt with their driving rhythms one minute then have throwing your fists into the air the next. From the opening refrains of Wish of Autumn Twilight, Aetherian sets its stall out early: a melodic piano-led intro gives way to a driving song full of heart and feeling. This is a band in full command of its sound and whilst it isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking, Aetherian’s songs will live long in the memory due to their melodic structure, powerful production, great vocals and memorable musicianship. Leakos’ vocals are quite high in the mix. I believe that this is a great move as his delivery is inspired. I’ve sometimes found death metal vocals to be too low, becoming suffocated by the relentless blasts of the instruments around them. Not so here.

The Untamed Wilderness is simply full of great melodic death metal. The melodies are frequent and songs have equal moments featuring crushing blastbeats alongside sweeping atmospheric passages. Most of the tracks are 5 minutes plus in length giving the songs ample time to transition between the heavy and melodic. Some of the longer tracks possibly hinting at a more proggy direction that I’d love the band to explore further.

Personal highlights include the opener, Wish of Autumn Twilight, Dark Earth with its crushing climax, lead single, The Rain for its driving rhythm and the excellent Seeds Of Deception which looks to encapsulate everything that is good about Aetherian. I’m blown away by this record. The Greeks have anounced their arrival in the melodeath genre in some style. If you enjoy the works of any of the before-mentioned bands then you really need to give these guys a listen. The Untamed Wilderness is an outstanding album!

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