The Pitch: Montreal, Québec progressive death metal band Ezerath proves that they are worthy of the big leagues with Overture: The Heir Apparent; a concept album "depicting the thoughts of several main characters immediately before the death of Alton Nayan...the King of Gnara." FFO: Opeth, Be'lakor, The Ritual Aura
What I Like: If this was an established band, I would already be tipping my hat; but given that this is a virtually unknown project I have to give it even more credit. The production is super strong for an independent release, and get this: Ezerath is almost 100% the solo work of Jeremy Vocino right down to mixing and mastering. This guy gives Hannes Grossman a run for his money. The only credit to another party is for the lovely backup vocals of Felicia Weinmann, which add further depth and lushness to the album. Even as I type this she is reigning ethereal over the gorgeous acoustic interlude of "Hand of a Serth."
But turning back to Jeremy, this guy is a damn virtuoso. His style is a little bit like Insomnium's Winter's Gate with some sudden bursts of The Zenith Passage. He serves up not only technically and melodically powerful guitarwork, but a grand sense of how each hook benefits the larger picture. Each track and the album as a whole come together consistently and cohesively into a masterful progressive work with plenty of satisfying dynamics. His harsh growls are nothing to snort at either.
Critiques: I have little to complain about here. There's room for creative growth, but someone get this guy some marketing power. I would also ditch the spoken narration in the future. It comes across as corny.
The Verdict: An unfathomably impressive amount of work for one person that exceeds all expectations. I have so much respect for musical auteurs, and I pray that the name Jeremy Vocino makes its way into the metal lexicon in the same way as big names like Devin Townsend. Make it happen. Buy the album. It's worth your support.
Flight's Fav's: Temple of the Forsaken, Whispers of Ruin, Hand of a Serth