by Samantha Andujar

Mark Morton
Rise Records/BMG

Mark Morton is no stranger when it comes to epic releases with band Lamb of God. This comes as no exception with the release of Mark Morton’s solo EP creation Ether. Bringing in some of the biggest talents in the industry, Ether features appearances by Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, Light The Torch), John Carbone (Moon Tooth), and Mark Morales (Sons Of Texas). Comprised of three original songs and two covers, this small treasure showcases what a diverse visionary and true artist Martin Morton is.

Here, Morton has assembled a collection with a “strong acoustic guitar component”.

From the beginning, Ether brings us all what we have come to expect from Morton creative genius. “All I had to Lose” feat. Mark Morales brings vast captivating acoustic flavours balancing out Morales’ raspy, emotional vocal delivery. It’s presents itself as a tiny but beautiful taste of what’s to come for the rest of the EP. Quite easily the standout track on this EP, other moments such as “She Talks to Angels” feat. Lzzy Hale is the ostrich of the bunch as it has more of a country acoustic piquancy compared to the rest of the EP. Hale’s voice also helps to enrich this soundscape experience with her varied powerhouse yet soulful vocal range.

Overall, Ether is quite a grandiose sound experience for a small EP. Though the beauty of it comes from the subdued guitar riffs that just ooze with melody, technique, and emotion, full-bodied vocal deliveries deliver an intense, graceful, and restrained music experience like no other. Though this is only the second project Morton has taken on as a solo artist, if we continue to get such inventive and perfect ideas such as this on another release, there is a huge future for Morton as a solo artist. For those that appreciate a solid acoustic experience from one of the most well-known names in the heavy metal genre, than look no further than this EP.

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