Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Adelaide, Australia’s ETHEREAL SCOURGE was a short-lived band – though there has never been an official disbanding announcement – that first surfaced in 1992.
For the record, there is very little, more like barely any, information about the band available online. What I happen to know and can somewhat piece together is this:
ETHEREAL SCOURGE was a Christian Metal band that mistakenly gets labeled as “Death Metal” in most attempts at tagging them. Sure, there were heavy elements in their music, so I guess you could justify that label to some extent. My opinion is that they were more akin to Groove Metal with abundant progressive elements, but call them what you will.
In 1995, the band was one of five acts included on the Rowe Productions ‘The Raise The Dead Australian Metal Compilation‘, alongside Metanoia, Embodiment, Vomoth, and Screams Of Chaos. Rowe Productions was the label created by Mortification mastermind Steve Rowe, he himself no stranger to ‘positive’-leaning extreme metal brutality.
The compilation helped spread the word about ETHEREAL SCOURGE, but no one could be prepared for what would arrive next from the band. We hear the term “one album wonder” quite often, right? Such a term was directly conjured to be applied to instances like this as ETHEREAL SCOURGE released their full-length debut, ‘Judgement & Restoration‘, once again through Rowe Productions, in 1997.
I believe the album is a monumentally significant recording, for what it is worth. Chock full of fantastically powerful, intense prog metal, with constant tempo and style shifts, the record’s contents are beyond just enjoyable. Incredible lyrical tales with – what could be interpreted as – poignant messages, gruffly aggro vocals, and the use of tribal-based musical enhancements all add to its overall impact.
ETHEREAL SCOURGE‘s recording lineup for the album is vocalist Jared Murray, guitarist Asoka Gare, bassist Greg Smith, and drummer Glenn Reseigh. In my opinion, the quartet produced one of the underground music realm’s most phenomenal, yet terribly underexposed opuses, bar none.
This is where the ETHEREAL SCOURGE story goes dark, unfortunately, there seems to be no further activity from the band after the release, at least none that is publicly shared. No word about what became of the band, no break-up announcements, and no information on the guys after this point. If anyone out there has an update to this story then by all means, please let me know.