AETHER — Aether (review)

AETHER — Aether album cover Album · 2023 · Nu Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
snobb
"Aether" is this Italian quartet's self-titled debut album. The band themselves state that their influences are King Crimson, ambient music and Nordic guitar jazz. Heavily based on synth/Rhodes sound, for my ears they sound more closer to mid-late 70s English prog band Camel. After the 70s, Camel lost the brilliant songwriting of their earlier music and switched towards a more synth-based sound.

Aether takes from Nordic guitar jazz its ambient sound, but leaves aside strong folkish component and icy cool aesthetics. The album's sound is warm and soft, almost polished and resonates pretty well with Italian prog bands of the 70s. Some added rockish guitar soloing doesn't generate a lot of fire and obviously is more of a decorative origin. On the more rock-like pieces, like "Pressure", "Moving Away" or "Crimson Fondant", Aether sounds like one of the many bands from the mid-late 70s.

Invoking some strong elements from a few different musical scenes, the band does inherit some known problems coming from the past as well. The lack of memorable compositions combined with a very comfortable sound can be a problem for some listeners coming from a rock background. Ambient elements, extracted from Nordic jazz don't work all that well separated from strong regional aesthetics and jazz improvisation as well as partially different techniques.

Impressive debut, taking more risks and searching for more expression of one's own face possibly will be an improvement.
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