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Etheral Riffian – Legends

Etheral Riffian
by Dave Nowels at 09 October 2019, 5:35 PM

ETHEREAL RIFFIAN hail out of Kiev, Ukraine and have just dropped “Legends”, their third full-length studio album, and their first in five years. “Legends” comes to us via Robustfellow Productions. The band originally formed back in 2010 and with this 2019 release is “dedicated to providing powerful, yet transcendental shows which will immerse you into their music and dissolve you in the radiant flow of mesmerizing vibrations”. A conceptual release, “Legends” is a release that is intended to cater to an Earth first mentality and is an attempt to induce the listener “to open up the new facets of existence and kindle the light of their true self”. Okay. More on that later.

"Sage's Alchemy" has a dare I say, a FLOYDIAN feel, that immediately came to mind with the unexpected “twing” of the guitar. I liked this instrumental track quite a bit. Regrettably, it sets a deceiving tone as the remainder of the album seems distanced from this intro track. “Born Again” kicks in next quite literally. Immediately the “riffian” portion of the band's name makes sense, as the riff is quite prominent. “Dreamgazer” opens with a distinct SABBATH feel, that I was confused to see fade then return as the song progressed. Vocally, and even musically, Val Kornev seems intent on changing things up at every possible turn. To the point that things seem disconnected. As if to reinforce this, the band's bio sheet cites a confusing mix of influences. SABBATH, ALICE IN CHAINS, PINK FLOYD, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, MUSE, METALLICA, FLOYD, and HIGH ON FIRE. It's as if they can't decide on the band's musical direction and just threw paint on the wall and called it art. It's a mess.

Yet, there are highlights to be salvaged. “Kosmic's” bluesy based guitar intro shines as does the percussion and bass that follows. I even like the majority of Korney's vocals here, even cloaked in reverb and distortion as they are. A similar intro leads  into “Unconquerable”, though once the song proceeds it doesn't seem all that different from it's predecessor. “Moonflower” ranks as another highlight if only for it's bluesy, PINK FLOYD-like intro. “Pain To Wisdom” returns to a SABBATH-like feel, before the CD bonus track, “Yeti's Hide” dives back into a psych feel. “Ethereal Pain” closes this one out on a high note, channeling that ALICE IN CHAINS vibe before it just abruptly ends.

I wanted to like this one. I like parts of it, just as a whole, cogent piece, it's just too uncommitted to a single intention. At least for me. I get the conceptual idea Val Korney is trying to achieve, it just falls flat for me musically. I'm a Deadhead at heart; I get transcendental vibrations and such, and this album just doesn't capture that element. If I'm looking for a transcendental trip out of heavy music, I'll continue to look towards bands like, YOB, OM, SUNN O))) and such that are really achieving that headspace.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 4
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Sage's Alchemy
2. Born Again
3. Dreamgazer
4. Legends
5. Kosmic
6. Unconquerable
7. Moonflower
8. Pain To Wisdom
9. Yeti's Hide (CD Bonus Track)
10. Ethereal Pain
Val Kornev (aka Stonezilla) - guitar/vocal/lyrics
Alexander Kornev (aka SAF) - bass
Max Yuhimenko (aka Southman) - lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi (aka Ship) - drums 
Record Label: Robustfellow Productions


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