Tech Death Thursday: Aetheric


Aetheric are a sonic kick in the teeth, and I’m here to deliver that tooth-kick to you by proxy. But with words. Or something. Fuck it, it’s Tech Death Thursday.

Tech Support:

  • New Enfold Darkness! …Kind of. You can check out the new teaser for Adversary Omnipotent right here. Look for the full album on July 14th via The Artisan Era.
  • Fleshmeadow, that awesome technical black metal band you should totally go listen to, has a new guitar playthrough for “Fangs Flaying Flesh.” Check that out if you like seeing chord changes done rill fast.

I don’t get out to many shows these days- partly due to responsibilities, and mostly because I’m an antisocial cave-dwelling neanderthal- but when a band like Minnesota’s Aetheric is playing practically on my doorstep, it would be criminal to pass it up. After sitting through the first couple opening deathcore acts made mandatory by the All Shall Perish Act of 2009 (one of which was actually pretty solid- check out Erabyss for some beefy riffs with synth accompaniment), Aetheric took the stage and treated us to a half-hour filled with shreds and blastbeats. My face reduced to a gelatinous mass and my brain thoroughly scrambled, I resolved to give the band the spotlight they so rightly deserve.

Aetheric present two distinct sides to themselves on Serpents Beneath The Shrine. The first and most prominent is the sort of melodic, hook-laden, flashy style I most closely associate with the likes of Alterbeast and Bloodshot Dawn. Aetheric strike a delicate balance between pure technical shredding and vigorous tremolo-heavy melodeath riffing, using the former largely to accent and punctuate their phrases rather than driving them forward with it. These oscillate between the brighter, almost hopeful sound found on “A Vile Birthright” and “By Death Possessed” and the lower, nastier tone of “Unearthing Global Treachery.” They are both unmistakably part of the greater melodeath paradigm, but there are couple moments that completely cast off these traditional trappings. The bulk of the title track is spent going between a Gothic-tinged harmonic minor theme and an absolutely savage diminished riff that is, while not entirely unique, outside the norm for melodic death metal. Regardless, it’s all extremely well-written and performed.

The other side of the Aetheric coin brings forth crushing grooves reminiscent of Ryan Glisan-era Allegaeon. These slower moments are pure headbanging bliss, syncopated bounce riffs with the odd burst of rapid-fire tremolo picking. I actually welcomed the breaks from the speed rather than dreading them. Basically, they achieve all the things the collective djent world sets out to do without any of the obnoxious repetition and noise gating.

On that note, the production is great; clean, yes, but not entirely devoid of character. The bass has a lot of presence in the mix, which does wonders for the fullness of the sound when the guitars are off exploring the top of their range. It has a light, warm quality to it as well that’s fairly uncharacteristic of the style, but it works well tonally. The guitar attack hasn’t been neutered at all; it’s fairly common to hear guitar playing in tech death (leads in particular) that sound entirely legato whether or not they’re actually played that way due to sound engineering and post-production nonsense, but it’s easy to tell when the guitarists are really digging in here. The vocalist’s dynamic, hardcore-tinged half-shout/half-scream remains consistent across all frequencies, and the drums, while somewhat mechanical, highlight the drummer’s crazy performance. If I had one complaint, it’s that the hi-hat is oddly loud in some places, but that only happens once or twice and is a minor nitpick at worst.

In case I hadn’t made it clear yet, I’m pretty goddamn hyped on these guys. Aetheric are tech death through and through- no qualifiers, no additives, no gimmicks- and they’re very good at it. It’s hard to believe that Serpents Beneath The Shrine is a debut given how well put-together it is; it sounds good, the musicians and writing are tight and proficient, and it feels very complete. It’s a thoroughly pleasant listen that I’ve already revisited multiple times, and I know I will be coming back to repeatedly. Do you like fun? Then give this a spin.

Serpents Beneath The Shrine is available on Bandcamp at the ridiculously generous name-your-price. Be sure to hit up Aetheric on Facebook and show them some smelly Toilet appreciation. That’s all I’ve got for this week, so until next time,

Stay Tech

Do you have a band you would like to see featured? A new release we should keep an eye on? Or maybe you want to do some writing yourself? Then email us at and make your voice heard!

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  • Lacertilian

    Sounded a bit like Cryptic Hymn at first but then that loooow string riff popped up, kinda all over the place from there on but is still pretty enjoyable. Agree about the drums o’Spear’d one.

  • “This is good! I’ve been on a death metal kick lately.”
    “These guys party.”
    “Aetheric >>>>>>>>>>>>>”
    “Would Tech Death again / 10”
    “Speaking of Tech Death, did you know that Neil Young is releasing a live album next month?”

    • *high five*

    • Spear

      Glad we got all that out of the way.

      • silliness aside, i’m really enjoying this album! thx Spear

    • Howard Dean

      [picture of scantily clad lady]

      [in retaliation, picture of man wearing speedo]

      “Nice write up, thank you!”

      [random gif of person getting hurt while skateboarding]

      [random gif from movie Hot Rod]

      “Everyone hates that movie, but I love it!”

      [random YouTube video or Trump meme from Odinn]

    • Jerry Horne

      I’m the farting guy, right?

    • “Val_Kilmer_Politics_Meme.jpeg”

  • Great finding, Spearrow, I am really enjoying their usage of melodies on the track “Within Withered Veins”, the solos are super cool and fast, very precise but they also give them some mid-melodeath era that have me drooling over here, jajaja.

    Thanks a lot for another killer album. I am enjoying this more than Arsis! You’re the best.

    • tl;dr: melodic infused tech death is Link’s jam, yo!

    • Spear

      <3 u bb

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY
      • Wet W’s Whistle

        Didn’t you ragequit when people were smack-talking bands you like?

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          True, and I own that one. It was a showcase of crybabyness on my part.

          • Wet W’s Whistle

            I only raise my sword for Link’s sake. I’m the only one allowed to give him grief over melodeath.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            I definitely agree with Link on some melodeath bands. Arsis is just one of those bands I never got (which of course is personal and subjective).
            If I rub some people the wrong way with trashing several bands, of course I’ll stop. I just figured that some commenters have been shit-talking bands for years now, so I didn’t really see any harm in this (because opinions and assholes and all that).

          • Wet W’s Whistle

            Oh sure. I just like to make fun of ragequitting 😉

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            Righteously so, to be completely honest haha

          • Howard Dean

            I think I missed the ragequitting episode. Where/when did it happen? I ask out of morbid curiosity (and for the purposes of mental curation). We’ve all been there (well, maybe not all of us, but the more impassioned ones like myself and Frank).

          • Wet W’s Whistle

            Here, maybe some time last year. I think people were making fun of either Swans or Suffocation.

          • Howard Dean

            Unpopular sentiment of the morning: I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a full track by Swans, and I’m not really curious enough to ever do so.

          • Jerry Horne

            Tried, didn’t like ’em.

          • BobLoblaw

            As much as i respect suffocation, never got into them at all. Nothing by them ever really grabbed me.

          • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

            It was somewhere in April 2016 I think (I remember because I was about to travel to China a week or so later).
            People taking a crap on some bands I like was only part of the reason though; and to be honest it was not really ‘people disliking bands I like’ that was the problem as such, it was more people getting into my face expressing their dislike and stating how wrong I am for liking something that kinda got on my nerves. I mean, a few comments above I got into Link’s face as well – though I didn’t really know/realized Link loved Arsis – so I’m kinda guilty of the same stuff that irked me wrong back then.
            Then there was also the fact that I got into a few childish squabbles with trolls over at MS, to the point that I started to get physically aggressive behind my phone screen. A lot of the times when I’m posting, I’m posting from my smartphone and when I was doing this while being at the gym, there were times I almost threw the dumbbells across the room. I never really made it a secret that I’ve been struggling with some anger/aggression issues all my life – I used to get into a shitload of fights over trivial shit when I was younger – and I’ve been able to sorta control it in real life in order to avoid getting into trouble, but some of the bickering I was having back then with a few trolls brought out the aggression in me again.
            Then I also got really really tired of a lot of politically-oriented discussions that were going on at metal blogs back then. Since we’re living in rather “heated” times, I don’t think these will disappear any time soon, but nowadays I just ‘try’ to stay out of them. I don’t always succeed in staying out of them though and sometimes I still open my mouth in discussions like these when I know I shouldn’t.
            Finally, since I’m a bit of a “stuck-in-the-past-metal-fan” whose metal diet primarily consists of albums that have had some kind of exposure (some kind of “classic” status, be it the widely known classics, genre-specific classics or the more cult classics) and acclaim, I wasn’t and I’m still not really occupied with exploring the really deep obscure underground. So at some point I felt I had little to add to the discussions, since all I did (and again, still do) is comparing to and posting shit from the tried-and-true albums.

            TL;DR version:
            I kinda felt a break was necessary because all I was doing at that time was getting internally frustrated.

      • Mosh Hoff
        • Arsis slays! …and cuts [hair]

        • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

          One of the most overrated metal albums ever.
          That’s just my opinion tho 😉

  • Zero Kelvin

    Great write up Spear! Album is awesome, and they are terrific live. See them if they are coming through your town!

    • Sweet name, dude!

      • Zero Kelvin

        Thanks! It also happens to represent my current energy level at work.

    • Spear

      They made sitting through that second band worth it.

      • Zero Kelvin

        So worth. Fortunately when I saw them they were accompanied by the stellar lineup of Sunless, Amiensus, and Red Shift.

  • Joaquin Stick

    Excited to listen to this! Too busy listening to a guy shit on his old boss. It’s good stuff.

    • Jerry Horne

      (crosses fingers, hopes for tapes)

      • I think that it is awesome that people still use the phrase “tapes” in lieu of “recordings”. I doubt Trump had a 4 track recorder hidden up his suite, lololol.

  • Wet W’s Whistle


    • Spear

      Spear is just the schlub talking about them

  • SavageMessiah

    Pretend I posted a dank meme.

    Then read this “TECH TECH TECH TECH TECH TECH”.

    I’m totally hip and in with the toilet krew now hooray!

    This is really good, thanks mr long poking device

    • Howard Dean

      Brah, you can’t call yourself a bro until you’ve made it through Hell Week. You can’t be part of the Toilet Crue yet because you missed rush weekend (and I don’t mean the Tom Sawyer Rush, huehuehue).

      • SavageMessiah

        aawwwwww maaaaaan