The ETHER BREATHER band was founded by guitarist Joshua Ribakove and drummer Mark Mari, back in 1987. Pretty soon they managed to arrange and record three of Ribakove’s originals, giving birth to the band’s debut “Death Dream” demo that was released back in 1988 in 300 copies. An outstanding mixture of classic mid 80s Heavy, Power and Speed Metal, characterized by the remarkable voice of Lozlo Grimms, was the result.
You can imagine a quite nicely balanced combination of METAL CHURCH and EXCITER and you are for sure into the point about the sound scape of this particular tape. Ribakove’s quite characteristic riffing and dark shaded lead melodies are the big trademarks in here. While the vocals are offering an extra boost to the final musical result.
Things moved really fast within one year, line up changes, new members and an evolved musical direction which is actually captured on the band’s second recording.
I will put it nice and simple: ETHER BREATHER’s – Demo 1989 is in my opinion one of the top releases on the New Jersey Metal underground of the late 80s. A unique mixture of Heavy and Power Metal with many Doom and even some Prog elements, perfectly balanced within the songs. Can you imagine a combination of HELSTAR, SANCTUARY and SOLITUDE AETURNUS on the same sonic realm? Well try it and you may manage to understand who ETHER BREATHER are sounding on their amazing second demo recording.
The addition of Bruce Gatewood generated some pure magic on the songs of this particular recording. But there is another element that makes the big difference in here: The amazing vocals of Mac (SNEAK ATTACK). Well we are dealing with some high class vocals in here. Wide range, characteristic color and an extra touch of passion, everything on a unique vocal mix.
Just for the history I have to point that only 50 copies of this recording were made on homemade TDK cassette tapes, no cover art or anything like that. To cut a long story sort I have to point that the band’s second recording was actually lost.
Fortunately Arkeyn Steel Records is reissuing both demos on a complete release adding some very interesting bonus material.
“What this bonus material is all about?” I hear you asking. Well there are some very interesting recordings straight form the pre-ETHER BREATHER era (1985). Recordings by two bands that featured Joshua Ribakove on guitars: COURSE OF THE SUN and INTENSIVE CARE -the band that first recorded the “War Torn” track which is featured on the “Death Dream” demo in its final form.
Joshua Ribakove himself wrote the liner notes, presenting an in depth biography of ETHER BREATHER, bringing to light completely unknown information (especially for the post 1989 period where the band continued to exist under different names and line ups until its final split in the spring of 1991).
Kostas Scandalis at Infinity Studios (Thessaloniki – Greece), remastered all the audio material from scratch, doing justice to the recordings. Kostas Athanasoglou arranged all the artwork -based on the original concept by Phil Hoppen (RIP). Never before seen photos and song lyrics, complete the re-issue’s packaging.
ETHER BREATHER is the title of a 1939 sci-fi story about a malicious prankster from outer space, written by Theodore Sturgeon. And now that I am thinking on it the concept is matching perfectly to the Science Fiction Metal that this band delivered.
If you are in for a deeper study on the New Jersey underground or simply for some more top class Steel, then this one is for you.
Release date is December 24th. You can pre order the CD here.