Reviewed: October 2018
Released: 2018, AFM Records
Reviewer: Jacob Ovington
Ethernity are a progressive power metal band who first formed in 2000. After numerous live performances and EPs, it wasn’t until 15 years later that they released their first official album, ‘Obscure Illusions’. Now in 2018, they present their second album ‘The Human Race Extinction’, which they promise to be a big step in the band’s evolution, so let’s see how it lives up.
As the title suggests, the theme of this album is rather dystopian. The first thing heard on the release is an ethereal intro that builds suspense and promise of what’s to come. After that, on the first track it’s clear that Ethernity is on the heavier end of the spectrum of progressive power metal. The guitars are chunky, dynamic and feature a range of rhythms and grooves more unusual to power metal that will keep the listener guessing as to what’s going to come next. Guitar-wise, things switch between a heavier style and the more traditional style of power metal shredding.
Vocalist Julie Colin’s voice soars over the music and she isn’t your typical female power metal vocalist, she has a much sharper and more succinct voice. Good use of vocal harmony is made throughout. The use of keyboards is effective for the duration of the album, they do not dominate the mix but there are some outstanding melodies, and they add a cinematic touch here and there which aids the dark atmosphere they intend to create on their apocalyptic opus.
Structurally, they mix more progressive elements with tried and tested conventional sections. Sometimes it sounds like typical power metal that’s been done before, but at others, it really takes off and it’s the heavier parts that make things more interesting and less conventional for the genre here. One downside to this release is that the mixing is a bit off at times, and the vocals get lost to the rest of the music rather than soaring like they should.
A dark and interesting take on power metal, and an apocalyptic journey. Recommended for fans of Symphony X, After Forever and Evergrey.