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earthtone9 “In Resonance Nexus” Album review by Antoine Karam

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As a long-time admirer of earthtone9, I’ve been hooked since their riveting debut, “Lo-def(ignition) Discord,” which still holds a special place as my favorite album. Their unique blend of post-metal and subtle progressive influences was a breath of fresh air back in 1998. Fast forward 26 years, and we are graced with their latest creation, “In Resonance Nexus.” Released via Candlelight Records, this fifth studio album promises to be a new milestone in their storied discography.

The opening track, “The Polyphony Of Animals,” immediately sets the tone, reminding us that the band hasn’t lost their edge. With dual guitars from Owen Packard and Joe Roberts and the powerful beats of new drummer Jay Walsh, the song serves as a bold statement of intent. The band’s aggressive yet melodic approach is unmistakably present and effective in capturing their renewed vigor.

One of the standout elements of “In Resonance Nexus” is its variety. Tracks like “Navison Road” exhibit a seamless melding of jarring openings and fast-paced rhythms, balancing aggression, melody, and varying tempos to an almost flawless degree. “Under The Snake,” on the other hand, showcases the band’s knack for creating haunting atmospheres, beginning with serene guitar work that transitions into a dreamscape of layered sound.

Featuring a darker tone, “Black Swan Roulette” stands out as a unique high point, driven by galloping melodies and powerful vocal performances from Karl Middleton. The vocal interplay with guest Malli Malpass on “Observe Your Course” adds an interesting depth, making it one of the album’s definitive tracks.

Produced by Lewis Johns—known for his work with Employed To Serve, Svalbard, and Ithaca—the album boasts a clarity and weight that elevates earthtone9 to their heaviest yet most accessible form. Johns’ touch ensures that each crushing riff and soaring melody shines through, doing justice to the band’s intricate songwriting.

While “In Resonance Nexus” is largely a triumph, however, some tracks feel a tad over-complicated, as though the band tried to pack in too many ideas. This occasional tendency towards excess might require a few listens to fully appreciate, potentially alienating more casual fans.

All in all, earthtone9 have crafted an album that not only lives up to but expands upon their legacy. “In Resonance Nexus” is a powerful return, reflecting their growth while retaining the core elements that first drew us in. For longtime fans and new listeners alike, this album is a significant addition to their catalog.

Karam’s rating: 8/10 Order the album.

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earthtone9

Tracklist:
The Polyphony Of Animals 3:40
Navison Record 2:54
Under The Snake 4:50
Oceanic Drift 3:56
Black Swan Roulette 5:05
Lash Of The Tongues 3:32
Etiquette of Distortion 3:40
Observe Your Course 3:40
Third Mutuality 5:53
Strength Is My Weakness 6:46

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