Nyx Aether- Entering Into Rebirth

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nyx Aether began as a collaboration between singer/songwriter Mylene van den Weijer and Mind:Soul/TDW vocalist and instrumentalist Tom de Wit. The group’s debut effort Entering Into Rebirth takes van den Weijer’s lyrical ideas and transforms them into a set of ten songs that utilize a symphonic metal sound with hints of doom and death metal. Although there are a few issues that hold the debut back from being a truly incredible listening experience, there are elements of Nyx Aether’s sound that work extremely well and hint at even further potential.

Symphonic metal is the best way to describe this release, as the synthesizer works is always one of the most prominent elements on each song. There is a great deal of interplay between the heavier, distorted guitar riffs and melodic synths and the two are often able to work together to create full soundscapes that will grab listeners. Underneath of the symphonic elements the guitar work is a mixture of traditional heavy metal and doom with a little bit of a gothic metal/rock influence feel as well. While the synth/piano arrangements and guitar riffs worked well on the full length songs, there were two issues that held the release back a bit. First, out of the ten tracks three of them are shorter instrumental interludes and while they did add to the overall atmosphere and feel of the album I would’ve rather seen another full song. Having an intro/outro was fine, but in particular the track “Redemption” seemed to take away from some of the momentum the other songs had been building right in the middle of the release. Additionally, I believe that all of the drum work was programmed for this album and by the end a lot of the patterns have started to sound a bit too similar. It didn’t take away from the power the other instruments were able to create, but it does seem as though the band would benefit from having a live drummer that can provide a more organic feel to the material.

While the instrumentals definitely have some standout moments, it was the vocal arrangements that really grabbed me the most. Both Mylene van den Weijer and Tom de Wit are given the spotlight on Entering Into Rebirth and both give a standout performance. Early on both utilize cleaner pitches and give off the impression that this is going to be an album filled with mellower performances, but after a song or two passes de Wit adopts a death metal growl that provides an extra burst of intensity. Some of the best moments are those where the two singers trade off lines, and van den Weijer’s soaring voice provides a nice contrast to de Wit’s harsher tonality. Additional harsh pitches are also provided by Mind:Soul bassist Joey Klerkx to provide emphasis, but the emphasis still seemed to be mostly placed on van den Weijer and de Wit. It really feels as though there is great chemistry at play here, and the interplay between distorted and clean gives the album a good deal of variety.

Despite my criticism, I really like the overall sound that Nyx Aether is going for and there are some memorable arrangements that make the album worth checking out for fans of symphonic metal. But I feel that the band is capable of taking things further, and more varied drum work and a bit less reliance on instrumental interludes would definitely help. The information that came with this release said that the project is going to expand into a full band and continue forward, and that gives me hope that they will be able to take things to the next level in the near future.

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