Hey there, tech fiends. It's that time of the week again. Before we dive into today's focus, here's the usual weekly reminder that if you're looking for even more sick bands to hear, all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
Starting next week and throughout all of February, be sure to check in here each Tuesday since we'll have exclusive premieres for you from the likes of Hath (Willowtip Records), Godless Truth (Transcending Obscurity), Emulsified (Inherited Suffering Records), The Last of Lucy (Transcending Obscurity), Continuum of Xuul (Lavadome Productions), and more set for March and beyond.
This week was originally set as an early album stream of Aethereus – Leiden, out this Friday via The Artisan Era. But it fell through once set up so I did my best to expand a short album stream post that was already written into something with a bit more substance. All three early singles that have been released from the album are embedded below for anyone interested in checking them out.
The first time I heard about Aethereus was back in 2013 thanks to my former editor over at No Clean Singing. At that time, they were called Seker, and that year the band dropped a fantastic progressive death metal-focused tech-death album called Transcendence. Shortly after that point, the name was changed to Aethereus yet the twin guitar duo of Kyle Chapman and Ben Gassman has continued into the present. For a number of years, the same held true for their standout bass guitarist, Shaun Hansen when it comes to the Seker line-up continuing on under the Aethereus banner. Their first release under this new name was Aethereus – Ego Futurus, which was coincidentally one of the first releases I ever covered here in this space. And while their bassist Shaun sadly passed away, the group channeled their grief into a very beautiful elegy inspired by that pain, their 2018 debut album, Absentia.
Now we're here in 2022 and the group's second album Leiden is just about to drop. Several years in the making, early clips and hints from the band made clear that this release would be a darker effort. At the same time, it's still a progressive death metal and atmospheric death metal-driven take on technical death metal. Not afraid to lean into all the tropes that make tech-death what it is while delivering songs that carry a heavier emotional weight than most in the genre. Something that lends their songs both uplifting and beautiful or mournful and bleak vibes in varied ways throughout much of Leiden's run time.
In keeping with their progressive death metal underpinnings, Leiden consists of songs at or over five to six minutes on average with two songs reaching over nine minutes in length. My personal view is that as progressive death metal-driven tech-death continues to grow as a way to deliver something new within this type of music, many of the bands going this route can't deliver music that pays off and benefits from this sort of approach. Thankfully, Aethereus delivers in that regard, in no small part due to their lengthy existence as a band and numerous releases under their belt giving them the experience to reach for the stars and succeed.
If you have not checked out the early singles for Leiden yet, definitely click play on them below. I'm very confident that Aethereus – Leiden will be counted among the best technical death metal albums of 2022. If you like what you're hearing below, pre-orders can be placed here and here. You can follow the group over on the Aethereus Facebook Page.