Etherial Riffian – Aeonian (PR2014) – This is actually not just an album. It’s also a book. Yes, a full length hardcover novel written by the band to go with the concept of the story. I’d purchase a copy, but it’s a bit more than I’ve got right now and I’ve got a hefty reading list at is. But definitely check out the book by the same name on Amazon, where you can purchase it in hardcover. As for the album, it seems that these gentlemen may be of Indian origin as I’m noticing a lot of Indian folk elements and a slight Indian inflection to what appears to be doom metal. Not depressive doom metal though, as this sounds very uplifting; triumphant and at times quite spiritual. Though “Thugdam (Sensation) 7:37” took a while to really catch on, when the more mystical elements kicked in and the solo portion started, things got quite electrical and otherworldly in nature. “March Of Spiritu (Rise Of Sheol) 11:33” adds more ritualism to the piece, also allowing the frontman’s vocals to take on a more mantric nature. This isn’t just an album; it’s a full-blown ritual. It’s a ritual of awareness, of oneness, of wholeness. Yes, you can bang your head to its post-metal like quality as it encroaches upon stoner rock riffs and strikingly awesome solos; but it’s also very deep as far as the concept is concerned. But the metal head in me also stops as says, “Damn, that guy can play.” The next song is “Wakan Tanka (Awareness) 12:09” which also has the same vibe as the previous track. But that isn’t a bad thing, as it is necessary for the atmosphere of the album. The song actually adds more tribal and ritualistic elements to the music, as it makes stoner/doom sound more enlightening than I’ve ever heard before. And yes, the song ends with another incredible solo piece. “Anatman (Oneness) 11:39” closes the album, but it does so with a light atmosphere, which adds melody and builds into the thick grooves of which we’ve been used to. It throws in a couple more atmospheric pieces as well as some real thunder, but then it fades back into atmosphere as it fades out.
Ethereal Riffian is definitely one of the strangest names that I’ve heard for a metal band. But truth be told, this is really solid and unique doom metal release with elements of post metal, stoner rock and atmospheric ritualism that definitely seems worthy of a listen. Though there have been bands similar to this in the vein of Neurosis and Minsk; these guys definitely add the elements of their native culture to the mix and create some rather uplifting and spiritual doom.