Continuing from grindcore outfit Cloud Rat last time, something of a different ilk, but still a band who came close to the Best Of list. Check ’em out below!
Earthtone9 are a band I discovered by complete accident a while ago thanks to a recommendation of Nick, who showed me a free compilation for download entitled Inside, Embers Glow. Within was a best-of representation of a slightly quirky metal band from Nottingham, UK. I take issue with the Wikipedia tags that are used, proclaiming the band as “progressive alternative metal”, instead feeling that they fall more into the groove metal category, although some alt influence comes through. But semantics aside, this compilation made me incredibly excited about the band…until I found out that they had split up in 2002.
Fortunately they reformed last year “to play a handful of gigs to remind everyone just how good they were”. I caught them at Bristol this year (w/ The Ocean, Maybeshewill & Humanfly), and they blew the roof off, mixing in older material with stuff from their fans-funded For Cause And Consequence, which came out in May this year. It came close to being my Top EP of 2011, showcasing a slightly different style to the older stuff but still more than enjoyable.
The music itself could be compared to a mixture of Deftones and Mahumodo, with a bit of Tool creeping in as well. Karl Middleton (vocals) jumps between a pleasant mid-range clean and hardcore scream with ease, while Owen Packard and Joe Roberts (guitars) pack plenty of punch and hooks to groove out to. Newer members Dave Anderson (bass) and Simon Hutchby (drums) also weigh in on rhythm, particularly the tribal drums of the first track provided and the bassline of the second one.
The lyrics, at least of their older material, are slightly odd to say the least. There’s a focus on spirituality such as on “Tat Twam Asi” (taken from a Hindu saying) with the lines “burrowing and bellowing/into a consciousness/kicking against/yet we’re needing to want this”. Recent tracks are
only a little clearer, the line of one powerful chorus being “No-one can question the ghosts”. They’re an enjoyable read at least, and some of them are a little more thought-provoking. (Link here)
So check out the two videos below, and indulge in some good quality grooving metal!