Release DetailsLABEL Supernal
RELEASED ON 1/1/2008
posted on 6/2008 By:
Ethereal Woods is a UK black metal act masterminded by Mark Britton, the man responsible for everything but the drums (provided by Adam Yarnall) on Kenilworth, the band’s third full-length effort. Britton actually comes from the town Kenilworth in Warwickshire and uses the town’s rich heritage (dating back to the 11th century) as inspiration for much of the pagan themed lyrics herein.
The archaic mid-paced black metal of Ethereal Woods’ first album Thickthorn garnered comparisons to bands like Burzum and Gehenna, though the current sound is a little more robust with doomy, melancholic tones. In general, the melodies used tend to be less oppressing than you’ll find with most doomy black metal. For example, the ending segues of “Approaching the Castle by Night” and the beginning melodies of “Le Plesannz En Marys” sound downright pleasant. For the most part however, Kenilworth is music for the downtrodden... just not that downtrodden.
The thing about black metal like this, that doesn’t blast the listener into a coma or crush them with ferocity or take them on a symphonic journey, is it has to be executed flawlessly and the songs have to be compelling. While there is nothing wrong with Kenilworth (solid writing, decent vocals, the occasional strong melody), it just is not that compelling. It has some really nice stuff going melodically, but nothing that hasn’t been heard a few dozen times before.
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