Ethersens - Your Wandering Ghost (Scarlet Records)

Tres bon...
Release Date: 
20 Jan 2014 - 12:30am

French alt-rockers Ethersens latest offering Your Wandering Ghost immediately throws up comparisons with Tool in my mind. The intro to Two For One Mind has that organic twang that reeks of Maynard and co - but Ethersens don't actually go down that road, instead opting for their own brand of intensity and emotional turmoil. I loved the fact that the band didn't go for the obvious 'mellow build to heavy section' option so when I was expecting a bit of fat guitar, I didn't actually get it (though I did get a gorgeous riff that used some sweet time changes along with some beautiful ringing harmonies). Laurent Mora does a fine job on vocals and really gives it some welly, particularly during Mourning Light, which had a scent of power metal to it (though you might get something totally different from it).

Overall, it's not a violently heavy album (you might even get away with playing it a family gathering - though there are parts that might disturb granny) and that's, perhaps, where the issue lies; it's probably too heavy for the mainstream yet not heavy enough for metal-heads? There are some moments where I was left thinking 'Whoa! That's a chunky-ass piece of guitar' but at other times I did think 'Foo Fighters, anyone?' - not that I have anything against Mr Grohl and friends. I can definitely see this album getting some airplay on some of the traditional/commercial rock radio stations.

Everyone involved does a sterling job with their instruments and it's an album that conjures a dark, brooding atmosphere (the spectral strings on To Live Is to Forget are a real treat) but will it blow your mind? If you fancy a something not too fat but not too light, then it may just do that...