Aelter, like most bands, have a backstory. Unlike most they can be explained through their other projects without fully describing what they are about. The band acts as an offshoot of the doom band WolvSerpent (formerly known as Pussygutt). Wolvserpent deal in massive undulating walls of sludge with use of uncommon (for their style) instruments, namely violin. This tends to add a certain menacing quality to Wolvserpents' brand of doom where as within Aelter it takes a more pronounced role.
Aelter acts as the other side of the coin to the striking heaviness of the members other band. The band calmly creates atmospheres with clean reverberating guitar riffs and sweeping violin. Everything with the band moves a glacial paces. Where with most bands, including their main project, tend to rely on the distortion of the guitars to help create climaxes Aelter rely strictly on feeling.
The opener in this set is "I Beloved" and the song does a great job of letting the listener in on what the band is about. Starting calmly with the aforementioned reverb heavy guitars, slight drums and a quiet voice calling out. The song helps to evoke feelings of longing, loss and general darkness all without playing into anything obvious. The band stay in this mode throughout revisiting instrumental themes throughout and using them to build a full structure. Their ability and willingness to rely on calmer atmospheres only serves to make the sudden build of distorted guitars in the next song " Follow You" that much more heavy. The riffs move slow but are not heavily distorted rather they are only distorted in an effort to serve the bigger picture.
The song "Dusk" opens the accompanying EP and moves back to the themes found within. This starts with a calm acoustic guitar plucking out notes pensively. shortly thereafter the violin comes in to help play a backing role. Building layers seems to be what Aelter is all about the band successfully builds and tears down the structure multiple times throughout keeping things interesting without forgetting their unifying themes.
Closer " Dawn" opens with a looped violin accompanied by organs and keyboards. This borders on somewhat silly at this point as it would be easy to assume that is is to mimic the song title giving a shade of color to the song. Unfortunately it doesn't work nearly as well as one would hope. While it does help to create drama within the design of the song it also seems somewhat unnecessary in the grand scheme. While say this the band still manage to make a decent song out of this and continue to revisit themes to help tie things together. Eventually going back to a distorted droning guitar to help build some movement within the structure.
The best way i can think to describe Aelter is Chamber Doom. While I am coining this genre descriptor now I can't think of a more fitting description for this release. The band use pieces of their related band to build something different invoking a chamber music feel with the violin and the organ. They also work in a very measured way never getting too loud or relying on some form of creepiness due to their more quiet structures. As a counterpoint to Wolvserepent this is nearly perfect.
7.7 / 10
When ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo announced a new hardcore project, this reviewer was on board. When Lombardo later announced that the new vocalist for his hardcore project would be none ...
Big kudos are due to Justin Mitchell of Cold Spring for making this release possible, and bringing to life one of the strangest meeting of the minds. Irwin Chusid of ...
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