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Background information
OriginNottingham, United Kingdom
GenresHeavy metal, alternative metal, metalcore
Years active1998–2002, 2010–present
Associated actsTwin Zero
MembersKarl Middleton
Owen Packard
Gez Walton
Simon Hutchby
Past membersDavid Anderson
Alex Baker
Richie Mills
Jamie Floate
Graeme Watts
Simon Johnson
Justin Greaves

Earthtone9 (stylized earthtone9) is a metal band from Nottingham, UK. Their line-up on most of their major releases was Karl Middleton on vocals, Owen "Oz" Packard on guitar, David Anderson and Graeme Watts on bass and Simon Hutchby on drums (the latter replaced for their EP Omega by Alex Baker).


Signing to Copro Records in 1998, the band's first major release was the album lo-def(inition) discord, which comprised songs from their three demos with a few new tracks. The record was produced on a budget of £500. Their harshest and noisiest recording, it quickly grabbed the attention of the British rock press, with favourable reviews in Terrorizer and Metal Hammer and a five-star rating in mainstream modern rock magazine Kerrang!.

After extensive touring, ...Discord was followed in 1999 by Off Kilter Enhancement. Again it was a critical success, but commercial recognition was limited. The band had more time and money to play with this time, and it is here that the classic et9 sound crystallised – harsh metal inspired by Helmet and Neurosis, mixed with softer textured moments, with Tool-esque dynamics and arrangements, not to mention enigmatic song titles and lyrics (e.g. "Möe=ra (t-talk)", "i nagual eye"). Barely a year later, after the departure of original bassist Graeme Watts, who was replaced by David Anderson, the band delivered their third album – voted 16th best album of 2000 by Metal Hammer[1]arc'tan'gent. It was described by the band as the first record they were truly happy with, having for the first time not been rushed in the recording process.

During a break in touring and rehearsing following the release of arc'tan'gent, Karl Middleton briefly entered the studio to lay down additional vocals on a song called 'unhinged' by the rising post hardcore UK band Landmine Spring. The song featured on their first full-length album Elephantine, which was released in 2001 via Loudspeaker records, and also lead to Landmine Spring playing on Earthtone9's autumn tour.

Hopes were high for an American record deal, and it seemed obvious to most[who?] that the climate of US radio at the time—very focused on the dominant nu metal sound—could accommodate the cleaner side of Earthtone9's output. But, ultimately, apart from some minor distribution of their existing material, all attempts fell through. They lost Hutchby (due to a mysterious skiing accident), and after struggling through for a couple of years, the band announced their dissolution in early 2002. After their farewell tour their umpteenth rejected demo saw release as the Omega EP, hinting at a more melodic direction.

In 2004, hi-point (rem), which was a remastered version of 2000's first EP hi-point, was released.

Post break-up[edit]

All members continued to play in bands – notably, Karl Middleton joined hardcore supergroup The Blueprint.

Furthermore, Karl Middleton and Simon Hutchby are now in Twin Zero, and Middleton is also in the Brighton-based band Blackstorm,[2] as well as providing guest vocals on "Alpha Signal Three", a track on second album Very Fast Very Dangerous by British rock band Reuben. Owen Packard has played guitar and guested on the This Is Menace album on the track "No End in Sight".


In May 2010, the band announced they were reforming "to play a handful of gigs to remind everyone just how good they were". A great hits compilation, Inside, Embers Glow…, was released for free download[3] in July 2010. Their first announcement of a new gig came at the end of May when they were the first band confirmed for the 2010 edition of the Damnation Festival. Their first gig however was at Sonisphere Festival on Saturday 31 July 2010. On Sunday 30 January 2011, Earthtone9 announced that they will be embarking on a six date United Kingdom tour with The Ocean, Maybeshewill and Humanfly.

Earthtone9 announced that they were searching for supporters through Pledge Music for their new EP For Cause and Consequence that features four new songs which at the time were already in production.[4] The EP was released on 16 May 2011 featuring 4 new tracks; "Tide of Ambition", "Ghosts", "The Trail That We Carved Out" and "Reborn". The EP was available for download for fans who had contributed via the Pledge Music scheme. The download also featured videos for "Tat Twam Asi", "Evil Crawling I" and new track, "Tide of Ambition".

Their fourth full-length album, titled IV was released in April 2013 to highly positive critical acclaim.[5][6] The band also reformed to support Pitchshifter for a short UK tour in 2018. [7]

Band members[edit]

Guitarist Owen Packard


  • Karl Middleton – vocals (1998–2002, 2010–present)
  • Owen Packard – guitar (1998–2002, 2010–present)
  • Gez Walton – guitar (2012–present)
  • Neil Kingsbury – bass (2016–present)
  • Simon Hutchby – drums (1998–2001, 2010–present)


  • Dave Anderson – bass (2000–2002, 2010–2012)
  • Alex Baker – drums (2001–2002)
  • Richie Mills – drums (2001)
  • Jamie Floate – bass (2000)
  • Graeme Watts – bass (1998–2000)
  • Simon Johnson – guitar (1999)
  • Justin Greaves – drums (1998)
  • Russ Stedman – bass (2012–2016)


  • Note: Earthtone9 was inactive from 2002 until 2010.



  • Lo-def(inition) Discord (24 August 1998)
  • Off Kilter Enhancement (19 July 1999)
  • Arc'tan'gent (25 September 2000)
  • IV (8 April 2013)


  • Hi-Point (10 April 2000)
  • Omega (8 April 2002)
  • Hi-Point (rem) (23 August 2004)
  • For Cause & Consequence (16 May 2011)

Live albums[edit]

  • Live from London Garage (31 July 2012)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Inside, Embers Glow... a Collection of earthtone9's Aural Communiqués 1998-2002 (1 June 2010)

Music videos[edit]

  • "Tat Twam Asi" (2000)
  • "Amnesia" (2002)
  • "Evil Crawling I" (2010)
  • "Tide of Ambition" (2011)
  • "Preacher" (2013)


  1. ^ " Hammer Albums The Year".
  2. ^ "Blackstorm".
  3. ^ "'Inside, Embers Glow…'".
  4. ^ "earthtone9: For Cause & Consequence". PledgeMusic.
  5. ^ "earthtone9 - IV Review".
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Pitchshifter Are Reuniting for a Gig at Rock City". LeftLion.

External links[edit]