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Ether's Edge: Return to Type

This English band is styled after Tool, Porcupine Tree and Opeth. The album tells the story, as their website describes, "of someone struggling with their demons", only to be consumed later by their former life.

The lyrics and music are dark to fit well with the storyline. Modern life leaves a lot to be desired seems to be the message. The music is good if you like the bands mentioned above.

Rating: 3/5 Not my cup of tea. Some of the music is interesting, but the depressing storyline takes the thrill out of it for me.

Track Listing:

"Here I Am" is the opening epic track. It is one of the best songs on the album. The majestic pipe organ sounding keys create a grand opening for this story and album. Then the vocals and heavy electric guitars take over and weave the rest of the opening for this 8:49 song.

"The Routine" is a commentary on a modern life, which is full of running through routines. The music follows some of these routines with repeated chords, beats and rhythms. The opening music sounds like a fax machine or early dial up Internet connection. The lyrics mimic the routine.

"Whitewashed Everything" is full of soft piano and vocals. When the acoustic guitar joins in it really makes this song another of the best songs on the album. The feeling of being devoid of power really flows through this song's entirety. They definitely captured the feeling of everything being whitewashed.

Slow tapping drums and heavy bass open "Facing Reality" before more percussion fills the air. Slow guitar and organ supports more of the storyline which unfolds in the lyrics brought forth from Bazza Preece's vocals. The eerie synths and background sounds move in and out of the soundscape creating effect. "Facing reality is not what I hoped for. Facing reality and I can't stand it anymore now. Just leave me alone."

The title track, "Return to Type", is the epic, longest track on the album at 9:08. It starts off strong full of cool synths, drums and heavier electric guitar buzz. The pace picks up after the last few songs which moved much slower. The sad turning point in the story, when the protagonist returns to his old ways. The guitars and keys do entertain.

"Writer's Void" opens with cool synths. They are closely followed by some very good guitar chords and riffs. The drums build momentum and the guitars keep pace. The experience seems like drifting over time and space. The keys that follow are excellent.

"Open Wide" is the third longest song on the album. The acoustic guitar which opens the song is excellent. Just as you're getting into the sound, Bazza's back with the sad lyrics and vocals. The music is interesting and different, but is often eclipsed by the cold lyrics and vocals.

"Dreamtime Calling" is a wonderful acoustic and electric guitar instrumental. Unfortunately it is a very short track at 1:54.

"Don't Follow" is a huge blast off after all of the quiet opus moments that have preceded. The keys, drums, and guitars fill the air full of inspired music. However, Bazza's vocals drone over the sounds of excellent keys and guitars.

"Life's Light" brings more acoustic mixed with electric guitar and Bazza's droning vocals.

Added: February 4th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2272
Language: english

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