Ether Coven – Everything is Temporary Except Suffering
Reviewed: January 2020
Released: 2020, Century Media
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I’m admittedly pretty stoked about this record. Ether Coven (formerly “Ether”) are one of the best bands to come out of the South Florida metal scene in ages, embracing a journeyman’s work ethic while belting out some beautifully abrasive doom riffs along the way. Those efforts seem to have paid off, with the folks at Sony, ahem.. Century Media taking notice and signing the band in late 2018. Though their sophomore opus THERE IS NOTHING LEFT FOR ME HERE was reissued last spring under the band’s new moniker, EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY EXCEPT SUFFERING is Ether Coven’s first proper release for the label.
Having a label to answer to doesn’t seem to have softened the edges here one bit, as this new batch of tunes pushes the boundaries of nihilistic doom to its fringes. As with prior releases from the band, EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY is a balancing act between total vitriolic sludge and minimalist, funerary melody. It runs the risk of becoming formulaic at times, but tracks like “As the Noose…” “Flower Crown” and “House of Strangers” navigate the peril with confidence and more importantly, substance. Stylistically there are comparisons to the likes of Crowbar, Neurosis, and Eyehategod, but it’s more of a loose interpretation of those influences and less homage that affords Ether Coven a unique spin on those familiar tropes. And only a band that’s truly confident in their wares would close the album with a cover of Bjork’s “Unravel”, which surprisingly ends the procession with faintest glimmer of hope.
With the release of EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY EXCEPT SUFFERING, Ether Coven is set to spend most of the year on tour, sharing their melancholy with the global masses. It’s a great record and a great jumping off point for the band at this stage of their career. Doom on, brothers.