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Ethereal Riffian : Shaman's Visions

Ethereal Riffian play a very mystical and mesmerizing kind of Stoner/Doom, not unlike a less heavy UFOmammut.

Something must be happening in the East European countries right now, some un- diagnosed disease is slowly transforming their Doom scene. For a long time, Ukraine and Russia were just known as worthwhile purveyors of Gothic/Black/Drone/Death/Funeral Doom. For some unknown reason, we're now starting to get albums from Slavic Stoner/Doom bands. No, wait... let me re-type my sentence: we're starting to get good albums from Slavic Stoner/Doom bands. Regular readers of the Reviews section may already have discovered Lord Of Doubts and Talbot, (note of the admin: and others like The Moon Mistress, Without God, Stoned Jesus, etc.). And it's now time for Ethereal Riffian to join the club.

This Kiev based band is one of those little wonders upon which the reviewer occasionaly stumbles while diving in the depths of the Underground. Ethereal Riffian play a very mystical and mesmerizing kind of Stoner/Doom, not unlike UFOmammut, albeit with less heaviness. Their thematics are, as implied by the name of the release, very shamanic; the music follows the same occult vibes. The first track, a 2 minute almost-instrumental, is the perfect rendition of what is yet to come: smoky atmosphere, heavy riffing, suffocating aura, mantra- like vocals and tribal drumming. Just close your eyes, and when you'll open them again you'll discover that you're stuck inside a tent, and part of a ritual to gain insight and visions of the other worlds. The record itself is divided in 5 parts, each one starting right when the previous ends, creating the illusion of a single 30 minute long track, but with so much variations and melodies that you'll never get bored. Somehow, they remind me also of the way Acrimony expand your mind on their sophomore effort ’Tumuli Shroomaroom’: there is the same spacey vibe in Ethereal Riffian, and William Burroughs would have loved that.

It's hard for me to pick up one song over another, as everything on this release is worthy of praise; each one will make you want to light a fat blunt and some strong incense to start meditating and worshipping whatever High Power(s) you believe in. This is Stoner/Doom in its higher and most pure form. What Ethereal Riffian lack in heaviness, they compensate with great songs and melodies easy to grasp; more than once they pay their tribute to the monument that was Kyuss, and even some bits of Hawkwind are scattered along the way. Tripping has never been so good, and the Ukrainian outfit also prove that you don't necessarily need to quote obscure horror movies to bring smoke into psychedelic riffs-drenched lands.

And if the music wasn't already good and mind-expanding enough, the gorgeous artwork would probably send your neurons into outer space just by looking at it. You can download this album for free from their Bandcamp and Myspace pages, but you should also buy it. And you should spread the word around the internet. To see such a talented and devoted band still being unsigned is a shame, and I urge you to give them your support at once! And a burnt offering, while you're at it.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Part I Whispering of the Ancients (The Awakening)
2. Part II Beyond (The Search)
3. Part III Yax Imix Che (The Path)
4. Part IV Voice of Reason (The Enlightenment)
5. Part V Light of Self (The Truth)

Duration : Approx. ?? minutes

Visit the Ethereal Riffian bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-04-23 by Laurent Lignon
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