Ethodius - Ethodius ©1997 Self-Released
1. At The Gate
2. Distant Cries
3. Existence
4. The Deepest Voice
5. A Noted Reunion Behind The Convent Walls Of Santo Spirito
6. The Clear Sky
7. Aftermath
8. The Drone
9. Merlin Lives In Our Dreams Now, He Speaks To Us From There
10. One Day, The Sword Will Rise Again

Upon reading the liner notes along the CD tray, I realized immediately that there was going to be a bit of a pompous edge to Ethodius as their album dealt with medieval topics and most specifically the King Arthur legend. The band also claims to deal with their topics over "dark and experimental ambience", which is a clue to expect some serious artsy-fartsy tendencies. But once you have all your pretention filters set up and activated, Ethodius is rather enjoyable for the duration. Their music is indeed funeralesque and uses a lot of typical elements found in "ritual" music. There are recitations from appropriate movies (namely ones with Arthurian themes) throughout the album. Some tracks are more along the line of unstructured soundscapes, which I suppose qualifies them for "experimental", while others use fairly straightforward songwriting that lies somewhere under In the Nursery, perhaps in the dungeon. The very somber tones used might suggest fans of Endura wouldn't mind cross over to the Ethodius world as well.

On a whole it would seem Ethodius has listened to their Best of Ambient CD collections very thoroughly as their disc offers many of the elements of ambient music from Eno-esque soundscapes to the more brooding and medieval sounds of the aforementioned Enduras of the world. Though not the absolutely most demanding CD ever, there is enough good ideas at work here to make it still worth having around.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2000

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