ETHER COVEN was born from lengthy van conversations about New Orleans sludge bands and a desperation to create a sound the members had always been fans of. Ether Coven has become an outlet for brooding riffs and frayed emotions, evolving greatly since the project’s first release, 2016’s Human Error. The band then went on to release two albums with Century Media, There Is Nothing Left For Me Here (2019) and Everything Is Temporary Except Suffering (2020).
Fast forward to 2022, and Kowlasky is joined by his Remembering Never bandmate Devin Estep (guitar/vocals), alongside Justin Gianoutsos (drums), and Shane Nerenberg (bass), ready to unleash the next chapter of the band. Joining the Good Fight Music roster, Ether Coven will release their new full-length album, The Relationship Between the Hammer and the Nail, this summer. The seven songs on the record are impassioned and intense, staggering in sound between doom metal, sludge, and post-hardcore. The album was written amidst Kowlasky’s on-going battle with colon cancer and is filled with an overwhelming vulnerability centered around despair, loved ones, and the state of the world.
Speaking on the lyrics, Kowlasky states: “With every release, we try to be as explicit as possible. Nothing is up for interpretation, and the goal is to pull emotion out of people they may not experience otherwise, in hopes someone can connect to any of what we do.”
And Estep adds, “Ether was built as a vessel for the worst feelings we could relay. We will always discuss the state of the world, but this time there is a bit more, I think, about the world that Peter was navigating during his treatments. His experience is the lens of this record.”
Produced by Andy Nelson at Bricktop Studios, the band set out to get The Relationship Between the Hammer and the Nail sounding as close to their live performance as possible. Using actual pedals instead of plug-ins and the majority of vocal cuts being first takes, the recording process was able to be completed in just one week.
On the album, the band also brought in a heavy line-up of guests and friends to feature. On opener and lead single “Psalm of Cancer” the band is joined by Integrity vocalist Dwid Hellion and Pain Ritual’s Anthony Crupi (who makes several vocal contributions on the album). Listening through the rest of the tracks you’ll find appearances from Daniel Weyandt (Zao), Howard Jones (Blood Has Been Shed, Light The Torch), Tarek Ahmed (Intercourse) and Shane Post (Bird of Ill Omen).
Closing in on the writing process, Kowlasky expands: “The record is about a moment in time, rife with loss, struggle, and pain, and trying to come out the other side as okay as possible. I’ve been in love with our band since we started and I can honestly say it’s my favorite of all of our records. It’s a proper evolution of our frustrations and our intentions.”
With The Relationship Between the Hammer and the Nail, Ether Coven have created a stand-out record embracing their truest form as a band.