Some of the finest and most influential death metal artists have come from our northern brethren in Canada. From classic OG death performers Cryptopsy to modern acts like Beyond Creation and Archspire, the country rarely disappoints. AEPOCH (usually stylized as 'ÆPOCH'), are an Ontario-based band that mixes progressive elements with tech death and have been active for roughly half a decade. Their rather esoteric brand of death metal demonstrates several interesting concepts, with an overall theme surrounding space and the unknown.
Awakening Inception stands as the outfit's debut full length album. The roughly 45 minute long release features nine tracks including some guest spots from other musicians such as Callum Clark of Ending Tyranny and Enrico Di Lorenzo, vocalist from Hideous Divinity. The albumwas also mastered by Jamie King, who's worked with numerous other extreme metal bands in the past, and the space-themed artwork is done by Justin Abraham.
This new album works great both as a prog metal and tech death release, with seamless transitions and phenomenal musicianship. At times it reminded me of Scourge by Monotheist, which I also highly enjoyed. Everything sounds polished and clear thanks to due diligence in the production. If you're a musicianand want to hear some complex patterns or sick riffs, this is definitely the one for you. Even the bass lines towards the album's climax lead to some seriously memorable moments. But even more so, the extended guitar solos on "Delirium of Negation", tempo changes on "Tabula Rasa" and intro to "Mentally Raped By Christ" were the greatest highlights. I also appreciate that the vocals are varied, with an emphasis on lows with high/shrieked overdubs, which go together quite efficiently throughout.
Nothing really comes to mind here, I thoroughly enjoyed this one from front to back and didn't notice anything off.
In all, this is a solid, jam-packed death metal debut release with tons of merits to it. It comes out as pretty much flawless from start to finish and shows much promise and ambition on the part of those involved. I highly recommend this one to any and all prog or tech death metal fanatics everywhere and will be looking forward to future releases from the metal maniacs over at ÆPOCH.
Fave Tracks: "Delirium of Negation", "Tabula Rasa"
For Fans Of: Beyond Creation, Monotheist, Rivers of Nihil
**This release is available now here!**
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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