★★★★☆ from DEVILUTION in this review of HOLLOW MIRROR! Well-known in the Danish metal scene for their sharp ears and even sharper pens, we are thrilled with the lovely words from journalist Henrik Hjellerup Bro in this review of our debut album.
“SOFIA SCHMIDT‘s voice easily spans several octaves and not only is her clean vocal in peak form, she’s also handling the album’s growls. Truly a woman with an excellent organ”
“ETHEREAL KINGDOMS is a symphonic metal band, but it’s a bit more than that. A significant amount of black metal sneaks its way into the songs.”
Especially ‘ENDINGS’ was highlighted as an example of this, with massive blasts and the duality of Sofia’s growls and clean vocals.
“The inspiration from NIGHTWISH is present, but opposed to the swedes, ETHEREAL KINGDOMS is carried by guitar, bass and drums rather than long keyboard sequences”
The comparison to the Finnish symphonic legends was also noticed by METAL A DAY’s Mads Pristed in another review. Devilution’s Henrik Bro continues:
“HOLLOW MIRROR is an excellent full-length debut from ETHEREAL KINGDOMS. This reviewer totally overlooked that in 2019. It could have made its way to the top 5 Danish releases of the year”
4,5 of 5 stars from Metal’art in this review of Hollow Mirror. Journalist Morbid Domi dared to look at our debut album and states:
“In their mirror, I saw the beauty and the capacity to lay one day a true masterpiece in this very noble style. Close your eyes and listen …”
“The 9 titles composing the work are totally captivating. Their metal is generous in both the refined orchestrations and guitar riffings of Christian Rasmussen. More than in groups yet known worldwide, we find passages very aggressive thanks to the excellent drumming of Jon Elmquist.“
“Apparition” is already in a level higher than the “Enter” of Within Temptation.”
“The entire album listens without transitions, never tired. “
Renowed dutch heavy metal journal Aardschok magazine dived into our debut album in their November 2019 issue. Hollow Mirror was awarded 85 of 100 score in this review by journalist Laura Waalboer! Thank you!
What did she experience? What stories did she encounter? Laura in particular took note to of our song Distance:
“Opener “Distance” starts with a melodic orchestration (…), soon you know, this is not going to be an ordinary piece of work”
“No song is just an up-tempo, a ballad or a melodic song. Each track contains clean vocals, growls, narration, mysterious sounds, opera vocals, guitar solos, whipping drums and everything else in the musical range of symphonic metal. (…) in every song all the singing styles, various arrangements and all the instruments are tumbling over each other.”
“What a courage, what a creativity!”
“Hollow Mirror (…) is a 45-minute fairy tale story with a lead role for singer Sofia Schmidt. She is in possession of a warm, dark voice that, during the clean vocals, resembles Helena Michaelsen, who can also sound an opera tesk, and she also takes care of the growls.”
On October 11th we released our debut album Hollow Mirror Now, (30th of august), less than three weeks later, we have already reached almost 9000 streams on Spotify alone. Well past 2000 of you have entered the Hollow Mirror dreamscape on Spotify, and we are grateful for each and every stream. Our stories are heard. Our words reach your heart.
Thank you so much everyone who listen and explore our stories! You make it possible for us to continue to create art and share our music. Follow us on spotify, tell a friend, add a song to a playlist of yours – YOU make the whole difference!
Classic Rock Magazine Germany entered the Hollow Mirror soundscape.
On Hollow Mirror, we bring to life 9 ghost stories, set in our theatrical metal soundscape. We explore contrasts, construct beautiful scenery and tear it apart. Spectral voices of massive choirs, numerous guest musicians and classical soloists – our first album was a massive undertaking for us! How does that all come together?
Journalist Matthias Mineur shared his thoughts in the Prog-metal section of the October issue.
“From sugar sweet to gallbitter, from lascivious to hectic, from symphonic to death metal (…) Hollow Mirror brings together the opposites.(…)”
“(…)contrast between the bell-clear soprano and the heavy bark-varying vocals of their frontwoman Sofia Schmidt (…)”
Other printed rock- and metal magazines have also explored Hollow Mirror. Germany’s Legacy magazine have featured us for both an interview and a review. The same goes for French Metallian, who honored us with a full-page interview feature and a 5 of 6 stars rating for Hollow Mirror.
What happens when you combine massive choirs, heartfelt screams, shattered violins, nostalgic melodies, classical soloists and thundering blastbeats? What happens when you bring nine ghost stories to life set in a theatrical metal sound-stage?
Journalist Matt Coe entered the Hollow Mirror soundscape and awarded our debut album an 8,5 of 10 rating from Dead Rhetoric!
“(…) in the case of this quartet, they are willing to incorporate gothic and dark/extreme elements against an elegance that keeps the listener pivoting throughout these nine tracks.”
“(…) the music supporting the singing in a seamless fashion, the extra orchestration and woodwind/classical accents providing the extra cherry layer on top of the proceedings.”
“Guitarist Christian Rasmussen can go from crunchier rhythms to clean passages that convince you of the man’s stellar abilities” “(…)the group cover “My Kantele” from Amorphis, adding their dual clean/growl slant and giving the song the credit it deserves for being a set list/band favorite since it’s release in 1996.” “Ethereal Kingdoms (…) do their best to blend their love of gothic, folk, and darker/extreme metal on top of things. Because of this Hollow Mirror will reflect adequately for most who love the diverse approach and attention to catchy melodies/harmonies throughout.”
Journalist Tim Bolitho-Jones of Über Rock entered Hollow Mirror and found it to be “an impressive piece of work” in this review:
“a darker take on traditional symphonic metal (…) a more horror-inflected vibe and feels grimly oppressive.”
“It’s also notable for the frankly fantastic vocals of singer Sofia Schmidt. Aside from her impressive orchestral range, she also handles the low register death growls and switches between styles in an instant.”
Hollow Mirror is our collection of 9 ghost stories and tales of personal tragedy. Our most massive undertaking to date, our debut album was created with the help of numerous guest artists such as icelandic folk musician Sigurbodi, award winning singer-songwriter Amalie Skriver on violin and guest vocals, numerous classical soloists, voice actor Simon Larsen and many more.
We have worked closely with artist Anna Holm to create the visual backdrop for Hollow Mirror by creating unique illustrations for each of the 9 songs.
Journalist Axel Meuriche of French metal magazine Metallian entered Hollow Mirror. He awarded our debut album a grand 5 of 6 stars in this review! Not only did Metallian feature this review in their September/October issue, they awarded us with a wonderful full page interview feature where we talk about our inspirations, the concepts of Hollow Mirror and how we fuse theatre and metal.
Hard Rock Info entered the Hollow Mirror soundscape and shared a few thoughts about what they experienced.
Our 9 ghost stories were received thusly:
” (…)if you’re a fan of symphonic and melodic metal, and have nothing against a few surprises, then you should at least give this band a try (…)”
“Their music is a little theatrical/cinematic actually, and full of ghost stories. Metal, soprano, growl and harsh vocals are mixed with choirs and a lot of different instruments and different twists and turns. “
“So, this is obviously a very ambitious project, and absolutely not just another symphonic metal band.”
Journalist Lukas Schärer of Legacy magazine reached out to us for an interview in their 122nd issue. We talk about Hollow Mirror, our view on our unique take on symphonic metal, our show preparations for our Wintersun support show, our inspirations as well as our hopes and plans for the future.
Excerpts from the interview:
“(creating Hollow Mirror, red.) was a very emotional and intense experience. We hope that this energy reaches the listener. We can not wait to share the album with the world.”
“We focus on the contrast between beauty and brutality. If it’s only brutal, you get desensitized, it’s the twist that makes it interesting”
Sofia Schmidt, interview with Legacy Magazine
The theme of contrasts on Hollow Mirror is apparent, when we shift the topic towards our music video for Heartchamber:
“The video shows a love couple being torn apart. Both are recurrent characters on the album. We use quite brutal images, such as when the heart is ripped from the chest. It underscores the balance between the beautiful music and the rather gloomy lyric theme of loss and pain in the soul.”
Sofia Schmidt, interview with Legacy Magazine
We elaborate on the connection to our single Endings.
Read the entire feature of this Legacy Magazine interview in their issue no 122. Besides this interview, you can also find a 12 of 15 scored review of Hollow Mirror in the magazine’s review section.
Germany’s Legacy magazine explored the theatrical metal experience which is Ethereal Kingdoms. Journalist LS awarded Hollow Mirror a grand 12 of 15 stars ★★★★★★★★★★★★☆☆☆as well as an interview feature!
Journalist LS entered the Hollow Mirror soundscape and emerged with this experience:
“Hollow Mirror” is supported by the surprisingly variable voice of singer Sofia, who not only sings cleanly for several octaves, but likes to scream and growl in between.
“The band does not shy away from dissonances (…) there’s also a nasty bludgeon with a Deathcore touch on a hymnic elf-like vocals, such as on the middle section, Endings’.”
“Hollow Mirror” is a collection of ghost stories, with a 16-voice choir supporting Sofia in the dramatic rendition, as well as guest appearances with Sigurboði Gretarsson, who otherwise indulges in his one-man Niðafjöll command, and songwriter Amalie Skriver.
“Hollow Mirror” takes time – the typical Crypt Metal crowd is unlikely to enjoy being dragged out of its comfort zone by the unruly arrangements and complex soundscapes – the Danes have the courage.”
Thank you so much Legacy Magazine for featuring Ethereal Kingdoms in your printed magazine! Explore the interview feature and browse other interviews with internation metal media in our interviews section.
How do you create a symphonic metal album from scratch? What is life on the road like for Ethereal Kingdoms? And what is it like to sign with Mighty Music less than a year after your debut EP? We spoke to journalist Hell(e) in this Metalized magazine interview, the oldest metal and rock magazine in all of Scandinavia
Excerpts from the interview:
“We try to create the music we feel is missing out there. We draw our inspiration from a lot of different places, and always strive to create something extraordinary”
“For me (Sofia, red.) the growl is the 6th gear of my voice, it’s for when what I want to say can’t be said with intense high notes. I need to scream and roar it out, it’s a raw masculine energy that I like to work with in my voice”
“(Signing with Mighty Music, red.) has opened up a lot of opportunities to get our music out to those, who want to hear it”
“Especially live, we sometimes take big chances and experiment in the intersection between show and concert”
In this issue no 124, you will find a review of Hollow Mirror as well (10 of 10 stars, thank you so much!) as well as articles with Baest, Mayhem, Soren Andersen and many many more!
We have also spoken with Metallian, the largest French metal magazine in print (and even made it to the frontpage of their September/October issue! Thank you so much!