A new teaser for “Ankaa”, the forthcoming album from French modern metallers ETHS, is available below. The CD is due on April 22 via Season Of Mist.
“Ankaa” track listing:
02. Nihil Sine Causa
05. Nixi Dii
06. Vae Victis
08. Sekhet Aaru
09. Kumari Kandam
The album can be pre-ordered at this location.
“Ankaa” manages to keep the essence of ETHS, guided by mastermind and guitarist Staif Bihl, who also produced the album. Yet with new frontwoman Rachel Aspe and other changes in the lineup, there are new elements in the sound of the French act. The new album sounds more diverse and generally a touch darker. Electronic patterns find as easily a fitting place as a beautiful Arabic chant by guest vocalist Sarah Layssac (ARKAN). For this recording, SOILWORK drummer extraordinaire Dirk Verbeuren stepped in and delivered a massive yet intricate pounding.
The song “Alnilam” can be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below.
ETHS guitarist Staif Bihl comments: “I’m proud to present the first track of our brand new album entitled ‘Ankaa’ (the main star of the Phoenix constellation, which is therefore also called Alpha Phoenicis).
“This album is linked to the cosmos and the concept of rebirth for the band as well as personally.
“The first song to be revealed, ‘Alnilam’, is part of a trilogy that closes the record. It accurately represents the idea of rebirth, which concerns everyone at some point. I wrote these lyrics during a turning point in my life. They represent the understanding that everything is in perpetual evolution, life is movement, and changing. I hope you will appreciate it as much as we do!”
ETHS in 2014 released an EP, “Ex Umbra In Solem”, with its new vocalist, Rachel Aspe. The EP’s title track was a new song recorded, produced and mixed by ETHS guitarist Staif Bihl. It was backed by three classic ETHS tracks, recorded live on October 24, 2013 at the Divan du Monde in Paris, mixed by Nikhertz at Studio Phantom. Last but not least, the EP included three songs from the “III” album, re-recorded with Rachel’s vocals.
ETHS in 2012 recruited Virginie Goncalves (KELLS) and Nelly Wood-Hasselhoff to handle lead vocals at the group’s shows following the departure of Candice Clot.
Aspe made headlines in France in November 2012 when she performed the SYBREED song “Emma-0” on an episode of “La France À Un Incroyable Talent”, the French reality television series which is part of the global British “Got Talent” franchise. Her death metal vocal styling stunned the judges and crowd before going viral and being seen by millions of people.
“It has always been my goal to be part of a band,” Aspe told Rock Overdose. “One of the reasons I went to this TV show was to find one. [The show] was [taped] three months before I met ETHS, and [it originally aired shortly] after Candice left the band. So things came very fast for me. I had a job and it was hard to work on my vocals so quickly. I didn’t expect this success for the video; many bands contacted me, I did some [guest appearances] since that. People are continuing to share and comment on it.”
Clot played her final show as a member of ETHS on October 13, 2012 at L’Arcade in Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon, France.
Staif Bihl: guitar
Rachel Aspe: vocals
Damien Rivoal: bass
R.U.L.: drums (live)
Dirk Verbeuren: drums (album)
Photo credit: Nicolas Delpierre