US progressive death metal beasts Aethereus are ambitious. Their debut full-length, Absentia, is an exercise in intensely technical, refreshing death metal. Case in point: new song “Cascades of Light,” which fuses instrumental wizardry, melody and dissonance into one package.
“Cascades of Light” is able to shift from blasting death metal to calm, atmospheric sections without missing a beat, and Aethereus don’t fall prey to the desire to show off.
“Work on ‘Absentia’ started back in January of 2016 shortly after the release of Ego Futurus. Shaun [Hansen, R.I.P. 2016] and Kyle [Chapman, guitar/vocals] had already been working on mapping out new songs and developing potential lyrical concepts. However, because of Shaun’s untimely passing, the album became something completely different. It went from a sort of weird self-indulgent sci-fi story to be about depression and loss, becoming both a point of frustration and catharsis. Absentia is loosely structured around the Kübler-Ross Five Stages of Grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance). Musically, lyrically and conceptually, the album follows the stages of grief and describes the experience of losing a loved one and the lasting impact that person’s absence has on an individual, a group and life as a whole. It begins in a chaotic and bombastic manner, goes into some somber places, but ultimately ends on a somewhat hopeful note.”
Ambitious, right? They’ll release Absentia on August 10 via The Artisan Era, but you can listen to “Cascades of Light” below.