Review Summary: Aether tends to camp where Luminosity shined while also adding some breadth.
Last year Sacramento based band Entities released their debut EP Luminosity that was chalked full of junz, junz, and junz. If there’s one thing this band is remembered for, it’s their relentless execution of progressive style breakdowns. Each song is filled to the brim with their fair share of chugs and are either utilized correctly or create songs that feel a little too familiar. It’s apparent what the band relies on to add some flavor, but it’s becoming almost a crutch as Entities have done little to progress their sound. However, it’s undeniable that the group knows how to write some sick grooves.
It seems that Entities may be the number one band to use the progressive djent tone to their advantage as they utilize it more than any band in recent history. For those who have listened and enjoyed Luminosity, Aether will feel right at home. Ian Robertson takes the helm as a Stephen Keech (Haste the Day) sound-a-like with a growl that does not falter. There’s a certain display of power that makes his vocals feel welcome during the 25 minute juggernaut. Anthony Garrison, Cody Jarvis, and Phil Water handle guitar duties on the album (though I can only hear two guitars at most) while the drummer continues to be on cue with these breakneck riffs.
One element of metal Entities are not shy of in any form is their use of breakdowns. Songs are constantly shifting between grooves and while this may sound boring on paper, their guitar tone alone makes up for any lack. Amidst the bombardment of breakdowns is the accompaniment of a harmonious guitar to add much more dimension to what would otherwise be a very stale album. It more than often comes in the form of a delayed and echoed three to five note progression, but other times include some sweeping. This proves to be a good formula for Entities during most of the album, but certain songs feel like a rehashed version of Luminosity. “Ontogenesis” and “Lines of Descent” by themselves are in fact greatly crafted songs, yet the progression is almost identical to “Relative Theory” and the band uses the exact same tone which makes one wonder how much they’ve repeated from their first offering. Of course, both albums are pretty similar in musicianship, but with the increased production and slight differentiation ,Aether dodges following in it’s brother’s exact footsteps.
With another successful EP under their belt, Entities are gaining momentum in their respective genre. While there’s problems regarding a bit of it’s songwriting quality, Aether shows some progression. There’s only so long the band can utilize the same tricks before fans lose interest. Nevertheless, this album is stuffed full of great breakdowns, groovy riffs, and a load of bestial vocals.
FFO: Monuments, Circle Of Contempt, Northlane