Review Summary: Talent that died away before it's time
*Please note, at the time of this writing Eths was defunct as far as the internet was aware. 2012 saw the group release a third album aptly titled III. Having not heard that album, my feelings towards the bands sophomore effort remain the same
While many wouldn't deny that music is powerfully evocative, hearing music in other languages is occasionally the tipping point; many a listener has been turned away due to the language barrier. Sadly the french metal group is now defunct, but the power of their debut release Soma
is still as in-your-face as ever.
was released in 2004, and while it certainly gives off a nu-metal vibe it would be a mistake to place the group with the American juggernauts of the genre. One of the most striking aspects of the band is that it's a female fronted group; those raw screams are coming out of the lovely throat of Candice Clot and rarely will you hear French being spit out so harshly. The guitar work is simple and works wonders for the groups style, complimenting the atmosphere that Candice's vocals give off perfectly; what need is there for technical riffs and advanced chord progression when it would only take away from the group effort?
Even though it clocks in at little over an hour long Soma
refuses to drop into repetition or boredom, and while the argument could be made that each track sounds similar (unless you speak French) it really never becomes an issue. The bands layering work is superb for the style; even though the guitars are guaranteed to be heavy and the drumming simplistic the fun Soma
exudes remains one of its strong selling points. The French quartet starts the album off with a roar rather than whisper, opening track "Méléna" starts off at a breakneck pace. The fast lyrical lines are similar to those found throughout Maximum the Hormones Buiikikaesu
and only slows down during Candice's spoken word sections. The drums provide a solid backing for the heavily down-tuned guitars, though sadly the bass remains relatively quiet throughout the tracks 2:27 running time. The track literally ends with the soft boom of an impact fading away to the sound of the wind over an empty space, the intrinsic beauty is a nice touch for those listeners who feed off such tiny points.
There is no real standout moment to be found on Soma
, and although the acoustic "hidden track" found on "Elle S'endort" is a nice surprise the album will either hit you and refuse to let go or completely pass you by. It is a shame that such a talented group failed to remain together as Eths really showed promise and variety. The head of female fronted metal might have been an entirely different landscape had Candice and company survived the fickle years that were the early 2000's; Eths could have changed the metal landscape.