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ETHS - "III" (CD)

ETHS - "III" CD cover image

"III" track listing:

1. Voragine (3:53)
2. Harmaguedon (4:56)
3. Adonaï (4:07)
4. Gravis Venter (5:12)
5. Inanis Venter (4:32)
6. Sidus (4:54)
7. Proserpina (5:54)
8. Hercolubus (5:14)
9. Praedator (1:38)
10. Anatemnein (7:56)

Reviewed by on January 27, 2012

"For a female-fronted metal experience far different from the standard Gothic act, “III” is a must-hear release."

Never heard of Eths before? Well, if you happen to not live in France, you definitely aren’t alone. Now that the band has hooked up with Season of Mist, expect to hear a lot more about this versatile and hard hitting act with the release of the “III” album, which ranges from extreme to mainstream and features the entire spectrum of vocal styles. Another knockout release for early 2012, “III” is an highly polished example of female-fronted metal.

Although there are both growls and clean female singing throughout the album, the latest effort from Eths absolutely isn’t in the standard Gothic “beauty and the beast” territory. Besides the distinctive (and refreshing!) French accent of the band’s front woman, the entire tone of the album is decisively more towards death metal. The female vocals are prevalent, but not ever-present, and they have an incredibly stylized and slick sound that brings to mind an extreme metal version of Rasputina or even more mainstream Lillith type bands.

Previous output by Eths has been frequently compared to Otep, but that would be a very misleading characterization for this particular album. While both bands have a strong female lead doing both the clean and the harsh vocals, and there may be some similarity in guitar tone from time to time, “III” has nothing even resembling nu-metal rapping.

For those who aren’t particularly interested in clean female vocals that are more in the mainstream department, “III” can still hold appeal with its incredible diversity. There are times the songs could pass for Cradle of Filth, complete with backing keyboards and black metal style screams, while other segments are extreme death metal through and through. The “Hercolubus” track gets absolutely insane in the vocal department, with a cacophony of overlapping demonic screams, growls, and cries of pain before it all unexpectedly stops and shifts into soothing clean singing.

For a female-fronted metal experience far different from the standard Gothic act, “III” is a must-hear release. Alternating between frightening brutality and comforting symphonic passages, there’s a little bit of everything all wrapped up in a package of top-notch production.

Highs: A death metal apocalypse soothed over with refreshingly unique female vocals.

Lows: Dips a little far into the mainstream in parts.

Bottom line: A highly polished and incredibly versatile album ranging from brutal death metal mayhem to soothing symphonics with female vocals.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)