Usually, whenever I want visuals of something crazy in space with insane colors and a general out-of-this-world vibe, it’s somewhere in the realm of psych-rock that I find myself looking. On rare occasions, though, it’s elsewhere that delivers such goods. Even rarer, it’s from a progressive metal act that brings it in front of me. That’s a situation that I can’t think of happening to me before, so I was more than game for whatever Etrange was to bring to the table for their latest album, and it does the absolute opposite of disappoint in every imaginable way.
Instrumental progressive metal just sounds so crazy but so awesome that it’s a marvel that it’s not a sound that hasn’t crossed my radar more often, but I can easily understand why it’s not a thing. Trying to keep your listener’s attention for several minutes at a time without any guiding vocals whatsoever is not an easy task for any style, but it’s here that Etrange does it like absolute masters. Telling a wordless story about an A.I. locked in a probe exploring the endless reaches of the cosmos, everything about this album is as tantalizing as one could imagine and I truly believe there’s no way that Etrange could’ve done it any better if they fucking tried. This eponymous work is an extremely colorful one at that as Etrange somehow perfectly embodies the classic method of “show, don’t tell” storytelling despite it feeling like a nearly impossible task when you’re not even giving anything visual but, instead, aural. It takes time for the mind to wrap around all the different things that Etrange are trying to pull off, and hearing them do it successfully can easily send a slight chill down your spine because you know you’re listening to something unique and it’s far from that awkward phase of the band trying to perfect their sound simply because it already feels like they’ve done it!
Etrange has really created an experience that I can happily say I haven’t heard in a very long time, or, at the very least, something of this kind that’s left such a huge impact. This is absolutely something that this act should cherish because it’s leagues away from anything that any real fan of the style should even consider skipping, and Etrange has already earned the right to be among the underground bands that both demand and deserve to have a close eye kept on. We wouldn’t want to miss something else awesome, would we?
LISTEN to “Etrange” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Etrange on Facebook here.