Release Date: 11/27/2007
Genre: Melodic Power Metal
Rating: Good/Very Good
Straight out of New Jersey comes Ethereality, a band of young musicians who show that all of those Power and Melodic Metal bands who visited us from Europe over the years have clearly planted seeds that are growing into interesting bands here in the States. “Renaissance” is the bands four song EP and it presents their wares rather well, and based on the professional production and presentation it can hardly be labeled as a “demo”. Fronted by Rick Leben (vocals and lead guitar), the guys all show an appreciation of the Progressive side as well as they often indulge into long musical forays on the presented tunes. Leben himself is in possession of an excellent high vocal register that called to my mind the talented Tony Harnell (formerly of TNT). His guitar playing is also spot on and works well for the songs they included but I did have one minor critique about that and it’s in the overall length of most of these tracks. With the exception of “Tabula Rasa”, a smooth almost acoustic driven track with glass breaking screams, every song passes the seven minute mark. While this might be suitable for a band like Dream Theater or Symphony X it is hardly necessary for a group that is looking to first win you over and have you remember them do it. For instance, “I Cant Dream (With My Brother )” is a fine tune that is very energetic from beginning to end but could have lost almost two minutes of its closing movement and been your quick introduction to the way this band does things. Instead, it continues on and you are left saying “hmmm, why is this part still going”. I would have left the choice of lengthy number be their epic closer of “Renaissance” because be aware when all of your songs are long, every one becomes your epic and hence makes you rather predictable as a band.
Despite this reservation, the music does prove that all of the guys are talented individuals who bring some tasty music to the table. Their keyboardist Leonardo needs to have his contributions stand out more going forward as opposed to coming off like he is only there to help the rhythm section drive the tunes forward. He was there of course in sound, but was too far in the background for me to appreciate his talents as much as I should have. The rhythm section which features his brother Eden is a solid lock on the recording and perhaps this comes from having a family member working with you in the same band. Randy’s drumming is fine and in sync and that’s what you want to hear in a Power Metal recording. Healthy amounts of double kick drums and quick paced fills are found on almost every song. Clearly there is staggering competition awaiting a band like this already but I think the overall manner in which they delivered this recording shows them as a worthy contender to the list of promising bands. All lyrics are written by Leben and merit a read over while the CD plays. He is rather detailed in what he is singing about and it’s good that they have provided them for the listener. I think the main thing a band like this needs to consider is whether they want the lead guitar duties and vocals handled by one guy as opposed to adding another member to the lineup. While Rick does both tasks amicably, there is usually one guitar great and master of ceremonies in all of the bands who have come before them. Deciding which aspect he prefers to do should be a paramount agenda item for them. This is good stuff and is available on the bands MySpace and via I-Tunes which we have provided a link to. Check it out and best of luck guys.
The Players: Rick Leben (guitar, lead vocals), Eden Lustig (bass), Leonardo Lustig (keyboards), Randy Palumbo (drums).
1. I Can’t Dream (With My Brother)
2. Save Me
3. Tabula Rasa
Official Website: www.myspace.com/etherealityband