Four years have passed since the excellent full length Drown In The Sea Of Life and today we find Tethra struggling with a new album titled Like Crows For The Earth. As it often happens to too many bands, the vocalist Clode, the only original member left, in the meantime had to revolutionize the line-up coming to a five-piece that, compared to the past, uses the contribution of two guitarists. So we find, to flank the musician from Novara, Luca Mellana and Gabriele Monti on six strings, Salvatore Duca on bass and Lorenzo Giudici on drums, to compose an organic that, judging by the final outcome, turns out to be fully up to the situation, with the hope that this can ensure long-term stability. As for its predecessor, the production was entrusted to the expert hands of Mat Stancioiu, while the mastering, performed by the eminence of doom Greg Chandler (Esoteric), and the artwork, edited by Marco Castagnetto, are clear indicators of the desire not to neglect the slightest detail, in order to deliver to the public a product flawless in all respects. The goal is largely achieved by virtue of a varied writing, which leads Tethra to range between the different souls of doom, starting from gothic, passing to the more classical matrix to reach, finally, the one with painful tones and animated by death drives: everything is developed with the utmost awareness and maturity, succeeding in the not easy task of maintaining an imprint and a precise identity, despite the tracklist is composed of a series of songs each with its own peculiarity. The album opens with the short acoustic intro Resilience that prepares the ground for Transcending Thanatos, an episode already sufficiently indicative of a greater gothic propensity: in particular, the beautiful and enthralling refrain has exhumed in my memory of old fan the unknown Dutch Whispering Gallery, authors of three dark jewels of melodic death doom at the beginning of the century. Prelude To Sadness, another instrumental, introduces Springtime Melancholy, a song that, while remaining in the canons of traditional doom, shows once again a greater melodic propensity that finds vent in the excellent final solo by Luca Mellana. It’s the sitar to open Deserted, a track that, despite the incipit of a different tenor, turns out to be the most compelling and immediate song of the lot, thanks to a killer riffing, a great chorus and a central break marked by another good solo: in short, here you can find all the ingredients needed to impress the track in the memory, keeping intact the depth of the proposed genre. The interlude Subterranean shows off Clode’s vocal skills, who, if he was already considered a vocalist of undoubted value before, with this work raises his level even further, standing out for versatility and ranging from extreme tones (growl with some trespassing in the scream) to deep and evocative clean vocals that can only refer to those of Fernando Ribeiro, one of the reference models for anyone who ventures in this musical genre.
Immediately after it becomes clear the moment when the album finds its ideal sublimation with a magnificent song as The Groundfeeder, which can be considered ideally the musical manifesto of the new Tethra, combining the different souls of the sound to perfection and going to touch, in some instrumental passages, the emotionality of the best The Foreshadowing. Entropy is the last of the acoustic fragments, preparatory to the final triptych opened by the beautiful guitar melodies of Synchronicity Of Life And Decay, a track that then develops in a rather rhythmic way and closed once again by a brilliant solo that brings, finally, to the starting point, while Earthless pushes even more on the gothic side thanks to irresistible melodic lines that alternate with more rarefied passages, enhanced by a superlative performance of Clode behind the microphone: still a magnificent track for intensity and attractiveness. Closing the work is the title track, the last of the gems offered by an album of surprising quality at times, whose seal can only be the most melancholic and obscure song of the lot, a masterful example of how doom can offer that swirl of sensations that other genres are not always allowed to do. Like Crows For The Earth is, simply, a magnificent record, which brings Tethra to the level of the top bands of the Italian doom, thanks to the landing to a form capable of conveying in a more direct and effective way those painful and melancholic tones that are the essential component of the genre.
2017 – Sliptrick Records
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