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Ethernity - The Human Race Extinction

The Human Race Extinction
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 24 September 2018, 6:46 AM

Belgium’s ETHERNITY is Power/Prog band who are releasing their second album “The Human Race Extinction,” via AFM Records. Their bio that came with my promo copy labeled the band Progressive and Power…I would say that is an accurate description.  However, Prog fans shouldn’t expect a sound like DREAM THEATER or SYMPHONY X but something more along the lines of EVERGREY or MASTERPLAN.

At over an hour in length, this album is something that, for most people, can’t be digested in one sitting.  However, despite the length and it being a concept album, the tracks can be taken as individual pieces, thus allowing the ability to enjoy the album in as short or as long a time as needed.  However, therein lies the problem: there is just too much music here to digest. If you pick out four or five songs, you might remember some of what made them good.  But if you were to listen to six or eight songs, you would have trouble remembering what you heard.  The problem can also be attributed to the fact all the songs sound the same.  Despite its well-played guitars, there is very little variety here especially for a Prog band. Despite their Power metal elements, the band doesn’t sound like most of its female fronted contemporaries and that is an aspect I appreciated and found refreshing.

Vocalist Julie Colin has a very expressive vocal attack, her notes sang in often times a lower register instead of being operatic or soprano.  This approach definitely gives weight to the songs and it meshes in well with the instrumental aspect.  Musically, the album hits pretty hard with the guitars giving no shortage of speed and crunch to the songs.  A lot of the riffs, courtesy of Fracesco Mattei and Thomas Henry, have that thick, dissonant sound like MESHUGGAH or Djent bands but it isn’t overly used nor is it the focus.  Despite the heaviness, there is much melody to be found here, especially in the keys of Julien Spreutels, who displays a knack for brain bending keyboard solos and even the ability to use a more Sci-Fi element in the band’s overall atmosphere.

The first track, “Initialization,” opens with some of these Sci-Fi sounds but with a more ominous tone to the spacey sound.  It leads into the first full length, and title, track.  Quirky keys lead the way for Nicolas Spreutels’ intense drumming, showcasing his highly focused and technical power.  He hits his kit pretty hard, each snare, cymbal, and double bass strike hitting like lighting. Julie’s throaty vocals give everything forward momentum and the guitars are fierce in their constant barrage of riffs. “Artificial Souls,” is ethereal in the beginning, light touches of clean keys poking about through the heavy wall of guitars. Julie’s vocals work well with the ambient parts of the song as they retain their soulful edge.   The guitars do find some melody to bounce things off of and I really enjoyed the dueling guitar/keyboard solos.

Halfway through, the albums continues to remain interesting and the songs don’t let up even for a second. “The Prototype,” finds its center with Progtastic guitars that pull and pummel the ears, raging a war between being strikingly fast and incredibly virtuosity. Julie gives her own incredible performance as she sings her ass off. The band finally takes it down a notch for the ballad, “Warmth of Hope,” a track that proved Julie’s voice works just as effectively with a softer approach.  The clean keys and the sounds of rain highlight the track’s mood.  The song does increase to distortion but the keys and vocals keep the song melancholy and the guitar solo is rather moving.
The final track, “Chaos Architect,” displays the band firing on all cylinders.  All the instruments come together as one big wall of Progressive Power sound, ending the album on an explosive note, fitting since it began a bit quieter. For releasing just their second album, ETHERNITY is quite impressive.  The songs don’t sound overly different from each other and could use some variety but there isn’t a bad track on the album.  I’ve been listening (and reviewing) a lot of Death and Doom metal this year, ETHERNITY’s “The Human Race Extinction,” has been a great distraction.

Upon researching this band for the review, I discovered that JULIE has left the band.  I want to wish both her and the remaining members the best of luck on their future endeavors.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Initialization
2. The Human Race Extinction
3. Mechanical Life
4. Grey Skies
5. Beyond Dread
6. Artificial Souls
7. Redefined
8. Rise of Droids
9. Mark of the Enemy
10. The Prototype
11. Not The End
12. Warmth of Hope
13. Chaos Architect
14. Indestructible
Julie Colin – Vocals
Julien Spreutels – Keyboards
Nicolas Spreutels – Drums
Francesco Mattei – Lead Guitar
Francois Spreutels – Bass
Thomas Henry – Guitar
Record Label: AFM Records


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