The Pitch: Self-released instrumental, progressive metal from Winnipeg's Aphelion. FFO: Cotillion, MoRkObOt, Zilf
What I Like: This debut self-titled EP is just a fun time. If you enjoy flashy, technical musicianship that is also engaging and palatable, Aphelion have just what you're looking for. I love a good mathy composition, but am also staunchly against complexity without substance. An impressive performance is nothing without strong songwriting to reign it in, and this band seems to understand that. Between the lines of the whirlwind of guitar, bass, and drums is a strong sense of melodic sensibility. It kind of sounds like an old Protest The Hero demo without the vocal track. Aphelion have the same grasp on fusing intensely catchy hooks with constant shifts in style and approach. There's a little jazz, some Latin influences ("Drengis Khan"), and a whole lotta prog. Listening now, I feel like all three of these musicians have serious ADHD and just can't stand to play any particular part for more than a few seconds. Suffice it to say, verse-chorus-verse is not their thing.
Critiques: I've had enough requests from similar bands that I feel comfortable in saying, constructively, that Aphelion are going to have to step up their game to remain relevant. They clearly have the capacity to do so given the talent on display from each member and their ability to navigate many styles as a unit; but it's going to take some really fresh ideas and a step up in production to truly stand out.
The Verdict: Aphelion are a very talented trio who know their instruments and write impressive music. They have their work cut out for them, as being instrumental is already a handicap without even considering other solid groups in the genre, but given this strong debut outing I will be rooting for them.
Flight's Fav's: Drengis Khan, Bi-Polar Bear
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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