Ankaa, also known as Alpha Phoenicis, is the brightest star in the Phoenix constellation. ETHS are reaching for the stars again with their fourth full-length, which also bears the title 'Ankaa'. The French modern metal outfit has been a shooting star in its homeland, but now aims to shine in a new light and in a new constellation.
'Ankaa' manages to keep the essence of the band, guided by mastermind and guitarist Staif Bihl, who also produced the album. Yet with new frontwoman Rachel Aspe and other changes in the line-up there are new elements in the sound of the French act. The new album sounds more diverse and generally a touch darker. Electronic patterns find as easily a fitting place as a beautiful Arabic chant by guest vocalist Sarah Layssac (ARKAN). For this recording, SOILWORK drummer extraordinaire Dirk Verbeuren stepped in and delivered a massive yet intricate pounding.
ETHS were founded in Marseilles and rapidly managed to conquer the covers of French music magazines following the wildfire success of their EPs ‘Autopsie’ (2000) and ‘Samantha’ (2002). Debut album ‘Soma’ (2004) saw the band open for CHILDREN OF BODOM and CRADLE OF FILTH in France. With the follow-up ‘Tératologie’ (2008), ETHS demonstrated their experience and maturity grown out of playing hundreds of shows. When the time came to release third opus ‘III’, the band took their challenge abroad by releasing four English versions of the original French songs on an international edition.
Many predicted ETHS' star to be falling when charismatic frontwoman Candice left for personal reasons in 2012. Yet the gang was far from finished and scored a coup by enlisting impressive vocalist Rachel Aspe. The singer had already won broad attention, which is highlighted by over a million clicks on a clip showing her growling away at an awe struck jury at France' biggest talent show. Rachel’s vitriolic vocals fit perfectly to the pounding riff barrage of the band's modern metal style, which was demonstrated on the EP ‘Ex Umbra In Solem"’ (2014).
ETHS are not just very much alive and kicking, but as clearly demonstrated by 'Ankaa' also creatively exploring new dimensions. Only the stars are the limit!