(DGR reviews the new album by North Carolina’s Æther Realm., which will be released tomorrow.)
An almost four-year gap between albums isn’t too unheard of these days. Metal, when it wants to, moves at a glacial pace, and as much as we love to assume everyone runs on the two-year cycle, there are always going to be a bunch of outliers. Æther Realm are one such band, with the gap between their debut album One Chosen By The Gods and the group’s soon-to-be-released sophomore disc Tarot being close to four years — though the band themselves have alleviated that a bit with a very healthy bit of touring, show playing, and a slow drip of singles that has actually made the time seem to disappear faster than one would think.
A sophomore disc can represent a huge shift for a band, especially one like Æther Realm, who had a very succesful first disc — one that really did prove the concept behind the band in one go and contained a healthy grasp of really catchy songs. For a band that at one point jokingly had as part of their online bio “We are not from Finland”, it certainly wasn’t hard to draw conclusions as to which groups the Æther Realm crew really, really loved and drew a ton of inspiration from. A second album of the same style, though, no matter how good the band might do it, becomes a harder sell, and with Tarot it seems like even Æther Realm recognized that.