Brisbane metalcore favourites Virtues are following up on their hit EP Noting Grows from earlier …
Five years on from their debut and Melbourne deathsters Aetherial take a dark path into unabated brutality on second release Nameless Horrors.
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From a menacing set up, Indifference to Suffering directly lays out Aetherial’s intentions. Each track is a relentless assault of endlessly battering riffs and rapid fire drums that offer little respite. Only Second Death has much in the way of any pause for thought, a brief moment of otherworldliness quickly devoured by Aetherial’s ravenous onslaught.
Shep Sheppard’s vocals have a consistent, dry feel to them that displaces any humanity the songs might still possess under the barrage of ferocity Aetherial throws up. The effect works for the atmosphere the band is attempting to create, but the endless barbarity tends to drain the character out of the songs, almost as if Aetherial have made it their mission to beat everything into complete submission.
Aetherial have made it their mission to beat everything into complete submission.
Yet Nameless Horrors slowly reveals more of itself with repeated listening, as subtle melodies and nuances creep into the consciousness from under Aetherial’s ceaseless assault. Whereas The Grave Empties Itself seems to exist for brutality’s sake alone, a solid rhythmic drive adds a level of catchy groove to tracks like Kill the Master (Resurrection) and Spitting Out Teeth, that also benefits from snatches of melody. Occasional changes of pace like The Evil Age are also welcome relief, although a little too brief and if anything this album could benefit from slightly more diversity. Aetherial aren’t a band to provide much breathing space. Nameless Horrors is a dark, heavy and punishing album that offers no quarter from a ferocious and single-minded death metal offensive.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Indifference to Suffering, Kill the Master (Resurrection), The Evil Age
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