Under The Radar: Ethereal Riffian

Ukranian band mixes doom with psychedelia with awesome results

Ethereal RiffianEthereal Riffian

Ethereal Riffian

Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Sleep and Tool started a monastery that played progressive doom instead of Gregorian chant? I have a feeling it would sound like Ethereal Riffian.

Go here and hit “play.” See what I’m talking about?

Man, Ukraine has some seriously good psychedelic doom music. I’m not saying I’m particularly versed in that country’s metal offering, but I’ll probably start paying a hell of a lot more attention to it. This is the second band I’ve been exposed to from Kiev, the mighty Stoned Jesus being the first, and both have not only knocked the ball out of the park, they’ve slammed it into another galaxy.

Ethereal Riffian is a three piece outfit that started in 2010. In four years they’ve honed their craft of transcendent doom to Yob-like levels. This music is uplifting and spiritual, but the message inhabits a genre of music that is normally the audio-mirroring of inner demons. Their masterpiece is Aeonian, and it came out in January of this year.

In doom metal there are certain qualities that some bands pick up on really well, and Riffian certainly does. The massive saturation of the guitars and the bass leaves no open spaces in your mind, like a tidal wave of dopamine. The extended, soulful solos are electrifying and numbing at the same time. The melody section feels like it’s being tugged along by the elephantine drumming of Nikita Shipovskoi, whose kit has a tone a thunder storm would envy.

I think my favorite aspect of the band, though, is the vocals. Harsher vocal styles are your typical bid in a doom project, hell, any metal project nowadays. Ethereal Riffian, however, have turned expectations on their head and basically presented this album in monk-like chants. In fact, it’s practically throat-singing in many places on the four song album, which seriously reinforces the transcendent message of the band.

Another really kick ass aspect of Aeonian is all the loot it comes with. You can buy just the run of the mill digital download, or order all kinds of vinyl, and even a package that includes a freaking novel that compliments the lyrical concepts that members of the band penned. This band is the real deal. Keep an eye on them and Ukranian heavy music in general. I have a feeling good stuff’s going to be coming out of that country for a long time.

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