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Eths - III
CD Reviews
Written by Doctor T.   
Sunday, 06 May 2012
Eths - CD Review
III
Eths - III

 

CD Info

2012
Season of Mist France

10 Tracks

French & English Lyrics

 

 

Eths is one of the bigger Gothic metal acts in France, but one not well known in other locations, certainly not in the Western Hemisphere. But, that may change with this release. And, they’ve impressed some of the folks here at SC. John Wolff reports having seen them perform at MFVF in 2008 and says it was a performance to remember. When I asked him about it he commented, "Well….they were a co-headliner for a Sunday that was slated for the "Harder" bands. They were ultra- impressive. I took a few photos which can be found in the SC gallery. In your face vocalist, lots of energy….good stuff. Sometimes the small girls are the screamers and this is the case with her." Other reviewers make similar statements so you know they do a killer live show. But, based on this CD, I have to say their recorded material leaves little to be desired either. This is the band’s third CD and, I have limited familiarity with the first two. That music was, to my way of thinking, a bit nu-metal like, assuming you’re familiar with that style. This one is not. But classifying this one would not be easy. Our lead singer, the tightly packed little Mademoiselle Candice has a pleasant enough voice, thoroughly enchanting in fact. . . for much of the time. But, in a flash, she can change to a screaming, terrifying death metal vocal from hell, one of the absolute best death metal vocals I have ever heard, male or female. And that hard vocal, interspersed with the lovely is the signature sound of Eths. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a B & B approach, it’s not that, more of a contemporary interpretation of the concept, I mean, it’s different when just one person is doing it. I should point out that there are two versions of the CD, one in French, another mainly in French with a couple English language tracks. So, although we’ve listed this one as being both, that may not be the case depending on which one you get. But, we’ll cover lyrical work in both languages; it’s absolutely one of the strongest components of the work.

III has been classified by some as "modern metal"; a phrase that can clearly have wide interpretation. It is produced by Fredrik Nordström (In Flames, Arch Enemy) at Studio Fredman in Sweden. It is my understanding that the band is now, or is planning, a relatively significant tour with another French band, Kells. These French bands do tend to stick together. The band is from Marseille and no, I don’t think that’s Candice shown in connection with the videos we’ll be looking at shortly. But what we have here is one of the finest, tightest modern musical releases you’re going to hear this year, both lyrically, vocally and from an instrumental standpoint. It’s hard to pick the component that is the best, even harder to pick the best track. But, that vocal certainly demands consideration for the honor. Each track has its own personality; even the vocals are sufficiently altered on each track to stand on their own. Again, I can’t speak to each message, but I understand enough to recognize killer lyrics when I hear them. And the delivery, moving between Whyzdom one moment and Cradle of Filth the next, makes sure that whatever style you prefer will be more than adequately covered. There’s also sufficient tradeoff between the symphonic components and the guitar / drum based metal to keep you on your toes there. In short, Eths pretty much has everything covered, and all of it at the top of the metal hierarchy.

The CD begins with Voragine and you realize immediately that this will NOT be music limited to the beautiful. Candice starts out screaming, the guitars crash and the vocals tell us we are in for an entertaining ride:

Crane, corps gorgent la mort
Assise la je reve a quoi?
Toi tu n’es plus la pour moi
J’ai arrache mon cceur de beurre m’ecceure

Interestingly enough, there are parts here where Candice does both a clean vocal and the metal death vocal. . . at the same time, a duet as it were. And, of more interest, SC writer Max Levites offered to translate the French into English, to make sure I understood what was going on. And, it ain’t a pretty picture:

Skull, body gorges death / Sitting there, of what do I dream?
You, you're no longer there for me / I've mashed my heart into a sickening paste.
I don't live / I won't live again
I won't live if you're not there anymore. / You're not there any more
I don't live. / I don't want.

Thanks Max, I’ll get back to working on my French immediately.

One of the more entertaining tracks on the CD is Adonai, it’s one of those you can get in French or English, depending on what version you get. Mine is in English but, well, to tell you the truth, with Candice’s accent, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. Some English done with the proper French accent is almost as sexy as the original French, and that seems to be the case here. Again, the vocals move between dark and light while we get another background musical element, this time more guitar based, although towards the end, things change dramatically. Here we get a spoken word, a dark whisper over an ethereal background that is singularly interesting. Maybe the best single track on the CD IMO. Lyrically, we can go into this one a little more since it is in English. The track begins darkly:

Barnasa, Lieutas, Bucella, Agla, Tetragrammaton, Adonai
My Lord, Great God, heavenly, please help me out, keep me I am your slave.
Unworthy as I can be deliver me from all danger, from my deadly soul and my body flesh,
Pitfalls of my enemies, visible, invisible.
God, Ely, Eloy, Ela, Agla, Adonai, Sabbaoth.
My idol never release / My Lord never answer
I am in the Judah’s city / Came to embrace the King.
Embrace the king.

Interesting ideas, and the lyrics get even darker as we move towards the end.

Another track that is deserving of mention is Gravis Venter. I suspect this may be the big one on the CD, probably the single, headliner at the shows. Lots of symphonics here, the vocals are more of the clean variety. Actually a rather beautiful song. We get some haunting guitar work towards the end that flows towards the symphonics, and, from there to the metal, real nice sound. You come to recognize here that the instrumental musicians in this band are way beyond the normal; outstanding talent.

And that talent is best seen on display with the ninth track, Praedator, a short 99 second selection that takes us to the final track Anatemnein. Here we get another tour de force with pretty much everything the band has to offer, multiple musical elements, vocals that cover more territory than the Green Bay Packer offense and production that puts it all together. Candice makes sounds here that most groups would have to hire a chorus to produce. It’s a magical track, some 8 minutes of killer "modern metal".

It’s hard to go beyond what Eths have produced here, it’s that good. You’re going to hear a lot about them, and don’t be surprised to get more rave reviews from John Wolff the next time they perform at MFVF. They will be there again.

9.5 / 10

Candice - Eths / MFVF 2008

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