Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Etherna - Etherna (2008)

Wow, those Italians really love shitty 80s illustrations and paintings of beautiful fantasy women on their album covers, don't they? And this is yet another Italian band's debut.

Well, Etherna isn't quite so bad as that band in my previous review, though just as keyboard-centric. Playing the keys here is Alessio Lucatti of the band Vision Divine, and he seems to know what he's doing, providing the epic backdrops to the very anthemic songs. And I'm talking anthems here. This is both the strength and weakness of the band, because on one hand they sand like 10,274 other European bands in the same style. On the other hand, there are a few moments where they really rage, in particular I'm thinking of their namesake track "Etherna", with its great choral part and then some rather awesome prog metal freak outs.

The musicianship is tight. I do wish the guitars did a little more as far as the rhythms, but once the solos break out you know these guys are up to the task. Even the cornier tracks like "Tides of Flowing Time" and "Free in Your Eyes" have their moments, but I prefer the faster tracks like "Fury of Islands".

Etherna doesn't quite stand out, but if you are a big fan of your Italian power metal doused in symphonic elements i.e. keyboards and piano, and you enjoy Vision Divine, it's only natural you might enjoy this more than I did. Just enough with the shitty cover art already!

Verdict: Indifference [6/10]

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