Ethereal Riffian
Aeonian


4.5
superb

Review

by Finbar USER (16 Reviews)
January 25th, 2014 | 171 replies | 12,499 views


Release Date: 01/20/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The most head-banging meditation you'll ever experience.

12 of 13 thought this review was well written

With a name like "Ethereal Riffian", you know you're in for either the most lame, derivative kind of psychedelic stoner rock or a trail-blazing, mind-altering experience.
Luckily, this is the latter.

The band's second LP Aeonian is a concept album of four stages, with only one song under 10 minutes in length. It begins with the explosion of crushing heaviness 'Thugdam (Sensation)', then moving through the crescendo of crushing heaviness 'March of Spiritu (Rise of Sheol)' into the oscillating chilled-out ambience and crushing heaviness of 'Wakan Tanka (Awareness)' and finally into the culmination of psychedelia and crushing heaviness of 'Anatman (Oneness)'.
You may notice a certain theme here and a chance for the music's sheer power to become repetitive, but in reality, it is the heaviness of the album that creates its biggest merits.
Clearly the band is angling at creating some kind of meditative experience for the listener (hell, they've even written a book with an entire narrative to supplement the music) and whereas we are used to the idea of meditation being calm and relaxing, Aeonian will give you a different kind of alleviation.

Every track features the abstract vocals that you'd expect a Tibetan monk to sound like if he decided to start a stoner-doom band, which in one of the first track's quiet moments, even surround the music with gentle hums of "Om," the apparent natural pulse of the universe. In another band, the vocals would easily be the weakest part of the music but here they excellently contrast the heaviness with a comfortable, chilled-out feel.
Ethereal Riffian are masters of atmosphere, with the third track beginning with a build up of tribal drums and didgeridoo, reminiscent of their debut Shaman's Visions, and the final track even brings to mind the beginning of Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond through its guitar-work.

The band's strongest point is definitely in this twin guitar use, with the best track Wakan Tanka particularly bursting with interlocking, screaming solos while the rhythm section creates some of the band's most mind-bending grooves. The drumming is another stand-out, making heavy use of the double-bass pedal and shifting time signatures, managing never to get lost in the mix which shows particularly masterful production, especially with such heavy music.

The problem you can see arising is that the band have reached a peak with Aeonian and have pretty much exhausted what they can create from this style of 'crushing heaviness', which they had been perfecting since their debut. Therefore, if they want to avoid falling into the trap of monotony by making Aeonian mk. II, Ethereal Riffian are going to have to expand into some new sonic territory on their next album.

However, at this stage no stoner fan will be disappointed since the album is overflowing with brilliant riffs, and also admirably it never strays into the ugly distortion that similar, marijuana-promoting bands such as Bongzilla and Sleep get lost in. In fact, Ethereal Riffian are not, at any point, promoting drug consumption, but if you listened to this album while on enough LSD, you'd see those vibrant colours exploding out of your chest.



Recent reviews by this author
Gazpacho Missa AtroposWishbone Ash Blue Horizon
Hot Action Cop Listen Up!The Pineapple Thief What We Have Sown
Amplifier The OctopusAirbag The Greatest Show On Earth
user ratings (53)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Entire album streaming here: http://etherealriffian.bandcamp.com/

This is definitely gonna be one of the best psychedelic/progressive/stoner/doom/sludge albums of the year.
Their similar debut and mostly atmospheric EP are definitely worth a check too.

Criticism welcome!

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wats with the summary?

Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Look at the artwork

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im like 90% sure that isnt j biebs and you cant really pass it off

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im definitely gonna check this

Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah well, I've seen people say it does look like him. I'll change it then *grumble*

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey do what you want im just one dissenter no big good review otherwise

Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like the new one better anyway.
For anyone who wanted to know, the old summary was:
"If it's blown Justin Bieber's mind, it'll blow yours too."

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah thats a damn good summary haha

Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Judging by your taste you'd definitely dig this. Give it a go!

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im listening as we speak

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

march of spiritu is pretty freaking cool IMO

Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're all awesome but Wakan Tanka is my favourite, March probably a close second

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

vocals remind me of OM hard

Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've never actually heard Om but it doesn't surprise me, they even say "om" in Thugdam lol

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn dude listen to em, super consistent band. drum and bass duo with vox like this album, very very slow and mellow stoner. i dont think they have released a single bad song and youd very likely dig them if you like this for sure, although they are quite a bit more droney and unvaried.

Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Will defo check, sounds like my kind of thing. Make sure you give this some more listens, maybe your rating'll go up

spookynewghostfriend
January 25th 2014



2558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ya im just rating this first listen for ratings sake im replaying it already haha

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2014



7176 Comments


Good review bro sounds interesting.

Just remember that song titles should be in quotes and album titles should be italicized. And know when to end your sentences. For example:

"It begins with the explosion of crushing heaviness 'Thugdam (Sensation)', then moving through the crescendo of crushing heaviness 'March of Spiritu (Rise of Sheol)' into the oscillating chilled-out ambience and crushing heaviness of 'Wakan Tanka (Awareness)' and finally into the culmination of psychedelia and crushing heaviness of 'Anatman (Oneness)'."

That is too long. Maybe split this up into two or three sentences?

Digging: Opeth - Blackwater Park

Mad.
January 25th 2014



2931 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah that sentence is too long lolol but I was kind of trying to describe the 'journey' of the album in one sentence. I'll see what I can do



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy