The Ethereal Realm

Every once and a while, you come across a song or album that just sounds foreign. And what I mean by foreign is not merely music that comes from overseas, but foreign as a way of describing the actual sounds your hear on a record. Sound manipulation is something that has been around since the late 19th century with the invention of the telharmonium. With the evolution of the recording arts came the use of digital tools and programs. And while it made it far easier for anyone to record music, it also opened up a whole new world of experimental production. The following songs exemplify the more musical aspects of sound manipulation. These bands, while not making any large breakthroughs in sound recording, have taken advantage of the tools around them to create music with a more electronic feel. They go past the traditional guitars, bass, drums blueprint, and recreate them through the use of digital recording tools. Please enjoy! Click on the mediafire links below each blurb to hear the songs.

Thrice – Digital Sea

This song is the first single off of their newest album The Alchemy Index Vol. I & II. It is a two part album that explores the concept of the four elements: water, fire, earth, and wind. This album is the first of the two releases showcasing fire and water. What is interesting about the album is the way the band manipulates their recorded sound. Thrice is known as more of a straight up rock band with political overtones within their music, but on this album, they really took themselves to new heights. It is apparent that a lot of time and effort was put into making these songs. This song is not only accessible, but also filled with plenty of ear candy, portraying the notion of “water” through different recording techniques. At the end of the song, you can hear the lead singer’s voice slowly fading away and becoming more distorted, almost like he’s drowning into the track.


Ulver – The Future Sound of Music

I was really going to try to not post bands twice on any of my blog entries, but this band is far too good to look over. This song is off of the album Perdition City, a concept album written about a city of ghosts. Most of this album is instrumental. The sound manipulation is extremely prevalent, incorporating electronic beats with abrasive synthwork. The album is a sonic masterpiece, filled with more than enough ear candy for the listener to take in. They are a band that requires multiple listens, but each time you listen you hear something new. Here is a video that was created by the band members inspired by the record:


Sunna – O.D.

This band is a bit of an enigma. They released their one and only album, One MInute Silence, in 2000 and have never reappeared since. They gave no official statement as to whether they called it quits or not, but I think its safe to say that they are dead in the ground. This album is incredible, incorporating many electronic and ambient elements into a mixture of hard rock and acoustic splendor. They are definitely one of those bands that you wish could rise from the dead. My advice to you is to buy this album as soon as possible…you won’t regret it.



2 Responses to “The Ethereal Realm”

  1. 1 melbuck
    April 16, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    LOVE the sound of Thrice, I’ve never heard a sound like that! It’s neat because it sounds like several different genres of music mixed together. I wonder what they would sound like without any manipulated sound? Because when I heard the song you posted I didn’t think rock. It’s like a genre of its own. Cool stuff!

  2. 2 melbuck
    April 16, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Love the sound of Thrice! It sounds like several different genres mixed together, it’s a really neat sound. I didn’t think rock when I heard the song that you posted though, is that what they consider themselves? It’s like they have created a genre of their own! Cool stuff! I wonder what they would sound like without any sound manipulation?

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