Furthermore, most of the doom bands from over there don't merely follow the trends. Today, sludge doom and post-metal are incredibly popular niches while melodic doom death is mostly being ignored. Not so in Italy, where yet another masterpiece of melodic doom will spawn on March 20.
Titled 'Empire Of The Void', this third album by Tethra is a blast. From the very beginning of the intro, 'Cosmogenesis', it's clear that we're dealing with a must-have. Drones and twin guitars, we're descending back into the nineties, so it seems. And yes, then comes 'Cold Blue Nebula', an instant classic for those who adore November's Doom, Paradise Lost, Amorphis, Saturnus, My Dying Bride and so on. Heavy riffing, melodic guitars, tempo changes, harsh grunts, clean vocals,... this song has everything to become a fan favorite.
After that, the 'Gravity' trilogy begins, a massive anthem in three acts. I must say, as impressive as the opening track was, this trilogy is a stunner. I immediately turned up the volume and I immediately felt like I did when I first heard the albums by some of the aforementioned bands. Moonspell comes forward as a reference here, mainly in the clean vocal parts. I also often found myself thinking (and yelling out loud), "Fuck, this is awesome". I rarely use the F-word, so that is a compliment.
But, although I can namedrop a heap of nineties doom metal bands, I think it's important to point out that Tethra is a worthy player in their own right. The album is extremely coherent and extremely captivating. There is plenty of variation, yet still it feels like a concept album. Furthermore, 'Space Oddity' is a baffling cover version of David Bowie's classic. I could never have imagined this song could be even more crushing. I think this was a risk, but a well executed one. Kudos for this emotional tribute.
Another one of my favorites on 'Empire Of The Void' is 'Dying Signal', which nudges towards the black metal scene with intense riffs and a pitch black atmosphere. Back in those days, the heavy nineties, this track would be the one that made me decide to purchase the CD, and with that I'll recommend every melodic doom metal fan to do exactly that. Tethra cannot disappoint you. Their name belongs among those I mentioned earlier and this album belongs in between your all-time favorites. It's as simple as that...