EP Review: Foreboding Ether – Beyond Conjecture
[Edit: We've got a new writing volunteer dropping in his first work today. His name's Robert (our second) and he's from the UK. He kicks off with a review of a highly enjoyable technical frenzy. Welcome to the club, Robert!]
Origin: Kent, England
Release year: 2011
Genre: Deathcore / Technical Death Metal
Following a period of instability and line-up changes, English tech-death purveyors Foreboding Ether release ‘Beyond Conjecture’ – a punchy, unrelenting effort that showcases a band with great promise.
As native of the area of England I was raised, I feel a degree of pride reviewing the second EP from Foreboding Ether. Just where the hell were decent local bands like this when I was growing up? A friend of mine introduced me to this band over the summer and I figured they were a good place to start with my first review for the site. Seriously though, local scenes have gotten a shitload more sophisticated since my youth. This is the kind of band local kids are going to see these days!? When did this happen? How old am I!?
Anyway, Beyond Conjecture is a tidy EP that packs a good punch and displays a high degree of technical musicianship. Musically speaking the band are not breaking any new boundaries here but the technicality on display is something to behold in itself at times. This is a good old exercise in Tech-Death chuggery, stop/start riffing and sporadic, pacey lead guitar work. Though at times it feels the music is technical merely for the sake of being technical, the riffs are mostly solid and on the guitar front you’ll find drop-tuned, palm muted riffs by the bucket load intersecting with plenty of impressive tapping and tremolo picking. This guitar work is accompanied by reliable blasting on the kit that remains solid without ever blowing you away. Much of the vocal work is along the lines of The Black Dahlia Murder, whom the band played with recently and can feel slightly out of place at times given the strength of the underlying music. Personally I prefer deeper vocals over the guttural Death Metal vocals though so maybe that’s just me.
The band classify themselves as ‘progressive’, though I would disagree with the usage of this adjective as it seems to be bandied about far too frequently by the Metal media to actually mean anything anymore. I mean, think about the meaning of the word progressive. For a piece of music to be designated as ‘progressive’, in my opinion, it has to take the ideas/flavour/values of a particular genre and impress upon it some originality, advancing the genre or reconstructing the notions that we associate with the given genre. In this sense, it is foolish for fans, bands and the media to throw the term ‘progressive’ around when they actually mean ‘technical’. The continued use of the term ‘progressive’ for every other Tech-Death band that comes along only serves to dilute the work of the real progressive musicians. For if every band were assigned this adjective, it would become meaningless.
Right, short semantic rant over. As I mentioned earlier, the technicality on display throughout ‘Beyond Conjecture’ is quite something. For a quick snippet of what I’m talking about, fast-forward to the interlude in Deadline – the tapping will take your face clean off and the track is my highlight of the EP. Overall, Beyond Conjecture is tightly produced, with all instruments given decent space in the mix and the outcome is an enjoyable Tech-Death romp that clocks in at around 30 minutes. With the release of their sophomore EP, Foreboding Ether have grabbed many peoples’ attention and I look forward to seeing how the band develop during the writing process for their first album.
My Grade: 7.0/10
Buy this when:
- you enjoy tightly produced, technical Death Metal
- you are a fan of any or all of; The Black Dahlia Murder, Daath, All Shall Perish, The Faceless