In 2013, the Oklahoma based band Ethera was founded. Since then, there have been several lineup changes, which resulted in shifts within the band’s musical style. Starting as a metalcore band, they evolved to incorporate deathcore influences and became more progressive over time. Now, with their record From Animal To Man, the band have created a sound that fits somewhere between post hardcore-ish ambiance and death metal riffing with heavy growls. Imagine a mix of bands like Devil Sold His Soul, with their magic clean parts and Fallujah, with their ambient heavy riffing and death metal growls. Simply listen to “Odyssey” and, as soon as the phrase “To the center itself we set sail” comes in, you surely will get some goosebumps!
All this is bound into a very organic, natural sound that shapes the songs on From Animal To Man. The band worked with Donovan Sonnier on this, but unfortunately had to deal with some production issues. Subsequently, their record was released on December 25th. This was more of coincidence than actually planned, as singer Nathan Graeff explains:
“We waited 7 months to get the mixed files from our producer. We did not want to wait anymore and simply uploaded it as soon as we got them. The day was December 25th, which coincidentally was Christmas.”
Unfortunately, the band dealt with some issues with the recording and they decided to cut down the album to six songs, which tell the concept of the record. It is about the “triumph of the human spirit and the artwork is a metaphor based of imagery in the album,” says Graeff.
In fact, the artwork matches perfectly to the sound conveyed on From Animal To Man. The band used two original paintings by Kasey Wolfenkoehler as the front and back artwork for the record. These pieces excellently match the organic vibe of the group. Also, the art reflects the mood that will surround you while listening to their music: dreamy, ambient and rousing at the same time.
“Several songs were cut from the album, but will be released as bonus tracks in the future.”
The reason for this involved some unplanned issues with recording, but this delay won’t stop the five piece at all. Inspired by bands like Gojira, Pink Floyd, Shai Hulud and Lantlôs, these tracks will for sure be as exciting as what is heard on From Animal To Man. For Nathan, the best thing about Ethera is the following:
“I would say, what I enjoy the most is the fact that we do not confine ourselves by genre. We write and play whatever we feel like, whether it’s soft or heavy, technical or simple. We just write what we feel. And what we feel is Ethera.”
The journey of Ethera has just begun, as the band has had said member changes and dealt with some difficulties in the past. But these difficulties have also brought the group closer together. Graeff states, “We are definitely like a family, as we are best friends and, besides the music, we also have similar interests like food or fitness”.
In Claremore, Oklahoma, the music scene is a prosperous region for music that is more hardcore influenced like classic metalcore, pop-punk, etc. This makes it hard for bands like Ethera to flourish, as the crowd for progressive music is missing. Because of this, the band is branching out to surrounding areas and plan to play more shows in a wider range around their hometown. With a growing fan base, the band might be able to successfully tour while remaining financially stable. If you want to hear more and support the band, you can listen to their record From Animal To Man here and purchase it on their Bandcamp!
The group plans to release some bonus tracks in the near future, but have also begun writing their second album. According to Graeff, it will “definitely include more synth and more clean vocals”, which sounds interesting and promising! If Ethera could create a dream lineup of four bands to tour with they would choose the following:
“Fallujah, Vola, The Contortionist and Periphery; we feel like our music would be greatly appreciated by a crowd at a show like that.”
(Fun)facts about Ethera:
All the guys are obsessed with health food and fitness (Nathan does MMA, the others do weight lifting).
I compared their sound to Devil Sold His Soul, but Nathan did not even know them.
Their record From Animal To Man is up for “name your price” on their Bandcamp!
Nathan Graeff (vocals/synth)
Mike Kasper (guitar)
Zach Potts (guitar)
Nick Fournier (bass)
Lucas Hance (drums)
Follow Ethera on Facebook.