Little is known about the secretive duo named AETHYR, aside from the fact that Mr.D and Mr.W are aliasing names of well-known professional artists who live and work somewhere in between Russia and Western Europe. One of them is a gifted musician who plays in various music bands, and the other is an acclaimed graphic and visual designer. Their self-described “heavy-drone ritual” musical voyage was presented to the world via the group’s 2009 “Mass” EP available on “Dirgenera Quadrivium MMIX” split-release. AETHYR’s basic approach – heavy-droning distorted guitars, rasping vintage synthesizers, programmed metallic percussions, noisy feedback, and other sound effects – was laid down on their consequent recordings and revealed an ambition to create a punishing of black and doom metal, dark ambient and harsh industrial elements. Contact the band through their MyspaceMusic page.
AETHYR rises again with a punishing slab of blackened industrial doom. Messio is an all-new album but it continues the cryptic and menacing atmosphere of the debut Mass EP utilizing the leaden riffage of sub-tuned bass guitar, layers of harsh textured distortion and electronic ambience, hair-raising discordant guitar soloing and synth stabs, indecipherable ennui-laden voices and steady slow-motion martial percussions. The duo’s apocalyptic epiphanies of future times are dark and cold borrowing equally from erratic aesthetic of industrial music and the most extreme forms of black and doom metal. Presented in a black cardboard folder with silver metallic printing and inlay. ZonderZond design. (7 tracks - 53 min.)
"The duo creates a kind of blackened instrumental ambient doom that fuses a primitive post-industrial influence to chthonic heaviness on this nearly hour-long album. Messio begins with a wave of rumbling, buzzing slabs of low-end amp roar and gooey ultra-distorted freeform riffage that undulates beneath ancient wax-cylinder recordings of 20th century occultist Aleister Crowley; there's the early Earth/Sunn vibe like you'd expect, but pretty soon the riffs become so twisted and contorted that it turns into something quite different, a sort of pitch-black ultra-heavy improv guitar/amplifier noise jam with bass so low they rattle the phlegm loose in your lungs, melting down into swirling bass drones that wash over the end of the piece. The second track 'Ocultus I' takes a different approach, tying a massive slow motion doom riff to a simple plodding percussive rhythm, an echoing oil drum hammered beneath the lava-like serpentine doom riff with some fuzz-soaked, buzzing psych guitar meandering through the ten minute sludge trance. As it goes on, eerie choral-like voices begin to emerge out of the shadows like ululations from partially decomposed Gregorian monks, their looped, ominous chanting adding further shadow to this circular dirge-trance that's part Corrupted, part Neubatuen. The next track 'Mass II' is similar, in that it combines another simple droning doom riff that rides on waves of reverberating low end sludge pushed forward by the steady monotonous clank and pound of martial percussion. But here the sound is actually somewhat pretty, with a maudlin synthesizer melody playing out over the ominous doom, sounding just a little like something from Jesu, but stripped down and devoid of vocals. Later, the song becomes slightly faster and more urgent, a cavernous echoing subterranean Melvins-like crush that eventually returns to the somber sadness of the main melody, ending in a haze of droning keys, rumbling amps and more sampled speech from The Great Beast. The remaining four pieces on Messio follow a similar route with clanking metallic rhythms banging away beneath Skullflowery psych guitar skree and droning feedback and thick, buzzing blackened distorted metallic sludge, each one unfolding into murky psych sludge that oozes with wailing guitar splatter that sears the blackness, the guitar sometimes shifting into screaming tremolo riffs that add a vague black metal element to the sound, or shifts into stretches of pure noise and incredibly deep low-end over modulated bass frequencies and washes of amplifier hiss pouring out of their speakers in black jets of distortion. Out of these, it's the twelve minute 'Ave S' that heads deepest into psychedelic territory, blasting out huge squalls of psychedelic guitar fx and delayed feedback before it slides into a lugubrious acid-sludge plod reminiscent of Burnt Hills or a way heavier Fushitsusha, changing direction every few minutes and shifting between skeletal industrial doom and blown-out space-tripping psychdirge. It's the closer 'Occultus III' that's actually the closest that the band gets to Sunn territory, ending the disc with a rumbling, drifting cloud of ambient sludge that fades into Crowley's final utterances, his surrounded by a mist of ancient hiss and crackle." – by Adam Wright-Carmean of Crucial Blast Shop (USA) (January 2011).
"This duo from Russia play a sludged out doom laden version of blackened instrumental ambient doom that oozes along with distorted, fuzzy guitar, rumbling bass and plodding percussive rhythms. The album kicks off with a low-down bass amp roar along with samples of 20th century occultist Aleister Crowley. The extreme buzzing guitar that churns out a simple but wicked sinister droning riff gives off the vibe of perfect background funeral music. Before you get too settled in to the Sunn O))) kind of vibe, it mutates into something different again with a free-form jam that sounds like amps decaying. Some of the drones coming from the bass are so low, it literally can make you nauseous. This is some of the most guttural music of the blackest kind that I have heard from Russia in a long, long time. (Score: 8.5/10)" – by Ed Barnard of Doommantia (USA) (February 2011).
"This is an experimental, ambient, avant garde and doom laden instrumental album of massive proportion. The sonics that are presented here scale the dark and blackened depths of the most evil soul, scratching their way out, metallic and industrial, at times indecipherable. Distorted, droning and discordant sonic works are the order of the day, almost cacophonous in their presentation having a semblance of other unearthly tones included and built around them... What we have here though is a very good album that for me sits in the top end of its genre calling to mind bands like Jesu, The Melvins and Sunn O)))." – by John O'Boyle of DPRP (UK) (May 2011).
The album was also reviewed at: Metal Library (Russia), Metal Library's interview with Aethyr (Russia), Sea Of Tranquility (USA), Doommantia's interview with Aethyr (USA), Doom-metal.com (Belgium), Elitarian Music (Italy).
QUADRIVIUM is a Latin word meaning "the four ways" or "the four roads". It’s also a combination of the four liberal subjects or arts – traditionally, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy – taught in medieval universities. These followed the preparatory work of the trivium made up of grammar, logic and rhetoric. In turn, QUADRIVIUM was considered preparatory work for the serious study of Philosophy and Theology... DIRGENERA QUADRIVIUM consists of four one-track EP-albums by VIR’, VALI, HERMAN SYNDROME and AETHYR – respectively entitled "Clay", "Yggdrasil", "Birth" and "Mass" – which were initially published as mp3-only demos or not published at all in a year of MMIX. Here are four shades of Darkness and Doom; file these under Doom-Drone, Black-Noise, Death-Ambient or anything else. The disc (4 tracks - 65 min.) comes inside a hand-numbered silkscreen (a white over black cardboard) folder. There were 102 copies manufactured.
"The final participant are Aethyr and their track is most aptly titled 'Mass'. And I think they mean both the volume of something very big as well as the liturgic, religious event of the same name. 'Mass' amongst other things is the most industrial of the four tracks on here, due to the metallic percussions arising and the gothic chorus or rather echo in the back." – by Georg Gartlgruber of Monochrom-Cracked (Austria) (February 2010).
"The split concludes with AETHYR's track called 'Mass' and it is the prefect name for the piece and it is indeed a mass of heavy sounds in a similar vein of the other bands but more industrial sounding. It must be noted that all the music on this split is mostly instrumental and very much at the extreme end of the musical spectrum and Aethyr's track might the hardest track of the four songs here to digest easily." – by Ed Barnard of Doommantia (USA) (June 2010).
The album was also reviewed at: Metal Library (Russia).
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|MC | MP3-file (Accessory Takes)||$5.00 | free download|