Akphaezya

Anthology II

Written by: PP on 11/08/2008 10:50:49

When it comes to reviewing weird releases, few albums come close to Akphaezya\'s debut album \"Anthology II\", which is the first album in a series of five to be released in random order, contrasting the occurrences in the Akphaezyan world and illustrating the main character\'s emotions musically, visually and lyrically. Based on a few thorough listens, that world is a hell of a chaotic one, with crazy personalities and randomly spastic instances occurring throughout the record.

Take \"Chyrsalis\", for instance, which begins in a very orthodox gothic/power metal manner: theatrical piano introduction, huge power chords and dramatic deep growls from a male vocalist. Then moments later, the double blast-beats are broken by, get this, a piano breakdown, after which the band\'s female vocalist contrasts the whole soundscape with delicate vocals. The pianos then return in a Foxy Shazam-esque frenzied manner, sounding exactly like those you\'ve heard in westerners depicting the classic saloon atmosphere. The song virtually shifts between gothic metal, piano-pop, and utter chaos effortlessly, and the only right way to describe it is to call it brilliantly unpredictable, chaos-gothic music of the sort you\'ll never have heard before. This is about eight genres packed into a song, and a magnificent display of artistic completeness.

Too bad it\'s the only great song on the record.

The next song is an acoustic one, shifting genres once again, contributing to the unpredictable atmosphere with its central Asian musical influences. But if you ask me, it\'s a rather weak song to follow such a bombastic anthem with. As if the genre hopping wasn\'t enough already, \"Khamsin\" jumps in with haunted electro sounds, weird jazzy guitar interludes, before the saloon-styled piano re-enters together with lunatic female vocals that make one think of Stolen Babies for a moment. \"Reflections\" is almost like dinner music with a metal riff, complete with strangely soulful singing, which completely unwarned breaks into freaky singing and then finally into a gothic metal piece - am I the only one confused on what the hell is going on?

As if the band sensed that confusion, they\'ve positioned \"Awake\", a raging acoustic interlude (hear it and you\'ll see what I mean) to allow the listener to contemplate on exactly what the hell has been going on for the past 20 minutes. It also serves as a calm before the storm track as the album\'s centerpiece \"The Golden Vortex Of Kaltaz\" (crazy title) offers yet another insight into the creative madness of this band. Its progressive overtones seem strangely out of place in the middle of the piano experimentation and the looming atmosphere, that before long breaks into a senseless death metallic destruction. Growls are revisited for a moment, before the high-pitch female singing brings back the gothic metal notion we heard on \"Chrysalis\" earlier. It\'s also the second \'good\' track on the record, and it seems that if the band would focus just on writing chaotic goth-metal with the added pianos, they\'d go very far. I can\'t see boring ballads like \"Stolen Tears\" or the extremely unconventional samba-sounding \"Transe: H.L.4\" bringing much success to the band.

As such, I\'m not inclined to give Akphaezya a high grade. Two decent songs just isn\'t enough to warrant for it, even if the rest of the album is an intriguing display at the kind of madness that free-roaming artistic freedom can come up with. For \"Anthology II\" sounds ultra experimental without the usual pretentiousness attached to releases like these - be prepared for the most unpredictable release this year.

5

Download: Chrysalis, The Golden Vortex Of Kaltaz
For the fans of: Sculptured, Ebony Ark, Mr Bungle
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.06.2008
Ascendance Records

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