Ethereal Architect proves that it is possible to be catchy without being cliché, experimental without being meandering, and technical without being self-indulgent. The progressive metal quartet hails from Austin, Texas, where they have cut their teeth competing for prominence in the live music capital of the world. Comparisons have been made to the likes of Opeth, Dream Theater, and Tool – and although the band has pioneered something altogether unique, the diversity of styles of the aforementioned groups appropriately conveys the breadth of Ethereal Architect’s soundscape.
Comprised of Adam Contreras on vocals, David Glass on guitar, Jake Koenig on drums, and newcomer Thad Stevens on fretless bass, the ensemble’s specific style is difficult to pin down. They are very much a guitar-driven band – skillfully intermixing ballistic riffs, soulful solos, and moving acoustic passages, while maintaining a sense of purpose and structure. The commanding voice of Contreras takes center-stage, transitioning seamlessly from an evocative whisper to a belting roar, yet avoiding both the guttural and falsetto fanfares common to the genre. The band is rounded out by an accomplished rhythm section, which unites a thrilling sense of unpredictability with a polished cohesion. The group is best summed up as a fierce symbiosis between the innovative and the melodic.
In May 2012, Ethereal Architect released their sophomore album, Monolith. Featuring ten new songs (as well as a Spanish-language bonus track available digitally), Monolith carves a distinct niche in the progressive metal scene. The band made waves in 2007 with their critically acclaimed debut effort, Dissension, but has taken significant strides in maturity, musicianship, and composition, culminating in a record which one reviewer described as “absolutely breathtaking.” Ethereal Architect will continue to pursue an aggressive touring schedule locally and nationally through 2012, before launching their first international tour in 2013.