REVIEW: Tethra – Like Crows For The Earth by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy
Italian doom metal act Tethra formed in 2008 and released their first full length debut ‘Drown Into The Sea’ in 2013, which was a concept album focused on water and continued the theme started on their first EP ‘At The Gates Of Doom’, about a passage between life and death. Now in 2017 they are back with their sophomore full length ‘Like Crows For The Earth’, which was recorded and mixed by Matt Stancioiu (Labyrinth) and mastered by Greg Chandles (Esoteric). They are ready to take their sound to the next level and show how they have evolved since their debut…
The intro ‘Resilience’ is positive yet sorrowful and sets the scene wonderfully for what is to come, being very melodic and tempting, leaving you eager to hear more. It paves the way for first full track, ‘Transcending Thanatos’ which picks up where it left off before frontman, Clode Tethra demonstrates his versatile vocals, from dark growls to melodic charismatic clean vocals, which is quite alluring and stands out in the doom genre, with an gothic vibe shining through. The instrumentation accompanies the tones brilliantly, from dark gloomy moments to hopeful acoustic sections.
Instrumental ‘Prelude to Sadness’ helps create the desired atmosphere and offers a break in between songs and sees us arrive at, ‘Springtime Melancholy’ which is extremely ambient and rather beautiful, with Clode using his vocals well against the vibrant instruments. There is a great balance of dark and light, which is intelligently structured and makes a high impact, going from serene to head banging worthy moments, as well as a full blown doom rage thrown in to keep you on your toes. This is a stand out track, and a great unconventional soundtrack or anthem for Spring.
‘Deserted’ introduces a more exotic sound initially, which goes into dark sounding sonic riffs which drive it, and offer plenty of hard hitting rhythms throughout. This may well be one of the heaviest songs featured so far, as it contains more screamed growls, alongside the signature gothic doom vocals. The stripped back interlude ‘Subterranean’ is well placed and is easily Clode’s best vocal performance, with elegant acoustic guitar as backup, giving it a sinister but flourishing sound. ‘The Groundfeeder’ focuses on the heavier side, tying in with ‘Deserted’ and keeps the momentum going…
‘Synchronicity of Life and Decay’ sees some of the most ambient instrumentation, including a slick tuneful guitar solo, in what is their shortest song, showing they can deliver a quick hard blow. While ‘Earthless’ soars on, with the band in their element with fast paced melodies, going between slower calm parts and then effortlessly going full swing again. This is another stand out track for me.
Saving their title track for last, ‘Like Crows For The Earth’ truly encompasses all their best characteristic sounds, being a perfect and solid representation of their album and sound, making it a fine choice to end on.
Considering this is rooted in doom and death, this is a joy to listen to, as it is surprisingly diverse, melodic and positive for this genre. ‘Like Crows For The Earth’ highlights that Tethra aren’t afraid to think outside of the box, and for their efforts they should be more widely accepted, as this is more accessible than most doom/death metal offerings, giving it the edge. Most of the songs are around six or seven minutes long, but all very well crafted and consistent throughout, progressing naturally along the way. The use of instrumentals interspersed shows their musicianship further, and aids their more sonic and consuming sound, which is layered nicely to balance it out, and gives them their unique sound. If you are a fan of gothic doom/death metal this is a must, but even if you aren’t you may be in for a nice unexpected treat!
Tracklist for ‘Like Crows For The Earth’:
- Resilience (Intro)
02. Transcending Thanatos
03. Prelude to Sadness
04. Springtime Melancholy
06. Subterranean (Interlude)
07. The Groundfeeder
09. Synchronicity of Life and Decay
The album was released in Europe on February 11th via Sliptrick Records, with a US release in the pipelines on July 23rd.
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