Spin Cycle

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IV is the definitive album for a band that you’ve probably never heard of. For the uninitiated, earthtone9 has been defying the odds since the early aughts. With a trio of magnificent studio albums and a few EP’s, earthtone9 were ahead of their time back in the day and ever since their reformation in 2010 they’ve continued the trend.

“March Of The Yeti” slays immediately and states defiantly that the band is indeed back with a heavy riff that complements vocalist Karl Middleton’s gruff delivery perfectly. Add the Metallica sized guitar harmonies delivery at the end and you have an earthtone9 song that’s completely different from what was the norm in the past yet eerily familiar at the same time. “Preacher” harkens back to Arc Tan Gent’s “evil crawling i” with Middleton’s demanding bark but it’s the sleek production thanks to Romesh Dodangoda that helps brings this song and the rest of IV headlong into the 21st Century.

 IV is also the album that features some of the most accessible earthtone9 material to date. That’s not to say the band has gone soft but IV is definitely the next logical evolution from Arc Tan Gent and the Omega EP which definitely leaned in that direction at times (“Amnesia” anyone?). Take the phenomenal “Andersion” for example which is this bass-driven masterpiece fueled by an underlying seething aggression. Furthering that statement is “Our Last Sunrise” which could easily be, gasp, a single!

When all is said and done, though, IV is just earthtone9 being better at everything. The songwriting is stronger than ever, the musicianship is better than ever, and the delivery is way beyond that. For example, if “March Of The Yeti” didn’t instantly suck you in at the beginning of IV then the impression that “Occam’s Razor” will leave with you is a testament to the bands strength and staying power. A logical sequel to Arc’s “Binary 101”, “Occam’s Razor” has the melody, the crunch (Owen Packard is a monster riff shredder here and throughout IV) , and that e9 song quality that guarantees this song will stay with you forever.

IV is available on April 8th. Buy your copy here.

Grade: A+

 

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