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Tethra - Empire of the Void Award winner

Empire of the Void
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 24 February 2020, 4:07 AM

TETHRA is a Doom Metal band from Italy.  “Empire of the Void,” is their fourth full length album and they also released an EP back in 2010.  Their sound throws in Death Metal and plenty of melody into their atmospheric, outer space tinged Doom.

Cosmogenesis,” opens the album as a minute or so long intro.  It sets the mood, but I could had done without it.  Considering the immensely heavy riffs of the next track, “Cold Blue Nebula,” it feels like the album would had been better served with this as the opening.  “Cold Blue Nebula,” is as stark and unyielding as the vastness of space itself, as ar the deep Death Metal growls of Clode.  His voice is extremely impressive, including his deep, Gothic clean vocals.   This track is just heavy on a scale that I haven’t heard yet this year—but the use of ambient keys and well-placed melody keep the atmosphere on a level plain.   I loved it when the song suddenly, briefly, decides it is a Thrash metal song.  It is a well-placed bridge to the remaining Doom portions of the song.

The main attraction, for me at least, is the three part “Gravity,” song.  The first part “Ascension,” is a delicate balance between Melodic Death and Doom.  But elements of Gothic Metal find their way to join the other parts, creating a well-balanced, and catchy, song.  The second part, “Aeons Adrift,” is very dynamic and my favorite of the three.  Everything about this song is damn near perfect but the clean vocals shine the brightest.  Other than a few Death Metal screams/growls, the third part, “Ultimo Baluardo,” is an instrumental.  As expected, it focuses on more melodic moments to send the listener to the starts themselves, but the crunchy rhythm guitar doesn’t let anyone forget the spacey Doom the band is all about.

Another highlight is actually a cover song of DAVID BOWIE’s “Space Oddity.”  This is easily the best cover I’ve heard in years—it respectfully compliments the original while still allowing TETHRA to put their own spin on it.  It fits into the album’s them very well and its placement in the track list is perfect.  You’ll be hard pressed to hear a better cover song this year. The last three tracks finish the album strongly but “A Light Year’s Breath,” is really an amazing piece of work.  The female vocals accent CLODE’s own vocals so well that I wish they were used on some of the other tracks, but you can’t have everything.  Musically, the rest of the band knows when to join Clode on the heavier parts and when to be a bit more subtle in their approach.

The last track, “Ison,” caps off the whole space adventure in grand fashion.  The clean intro prepares this Doom ship for launch—and once it takes off, it all comes together.  If someone asked me for a good example of this album’s style, I would probably play this track first.  All the elements that make the album so special are presented here and the ending moment with the melodic guitar and Death Metal vocals working together is rather emotional. I really enjoyed listening to this album and I’m ashamed I haven’t heard of them before. Fans of Melodic Death, Doom, and Gothic Metal (or any combination of the three) and need to give this album a go.  Highly recommended.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Cosmogenesis
2. Cold Blue Nebula
3. Gravity Pt. I Ascension
4. Gravity Pt. II Aeoris Adrift
5. Gravity Pt. III Ultimo Baluardo
6. Empire of the Void
7. Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
8. A Light Year Breath
9. Dying Signal
10. Ison
Clode Tethra – Vocals
Salvatore Duca – Bass
Federico Monti – Guitars
Daniele Ferru – Drums
Alberto “Avenir” Coerezza - Guitars
Record Label: Black Lion Records


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