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Afterimage – Temperance

by Joseph Brewer at 22 July 2020, 1:31 AM

Hailing from New Hampshire are hard rock newcomers AFTERIMAGE. Formed in 2016 at Keene State College, these five friends came together over their love for classic rock and wanted to evolve that sound into something new and fresh. In their EP “Temperance”, that evolution is clear. While the influences of iconic bands like BLACK SABBATH and DEEP PURPLE are felt in each track, these New England rockers have found a way to infuse more soul and modern rock elements to create something new.

Opening track “Narcissus” tells you everything you need to know about the band and their sound. Powerful, raw, resonant, passionate music is felt in every bar. Casey Daron on bass gets the track started with an engaging bass line with Andrew LeCuyer thumping the drums underneath. Daron, in particular, is out in the forefront and not hidden as sometimes the bass can be on albums. That deep, groovy presence is felt often and provides the foundation for the rest of the rock to push forward. Same goes for LeCuyer. It might not be out in the forefront, but there is a lot of nuance in his performance with a helping of interesting fills and big moments.

Griffen Romprey, as lead man and vocalist, shines all throughout “Temperance”. He delivers that soulful performance that would rival Robert Plant with the aggression and swagger of Kurt Cobain. He holds his own on this album without a doubt. “Zeitgeist” is definitely a standout track for him. The song gets off to a classic rock sounding intro and Romprey starts off singing cleanly and sweetly. But there is a raw edge to it that grows more and more as the song progresses. Balancing alongside the excellent instrumentation, by the time the song reaches the last verse, Romprey is practically roaring the chorus, “Is this what you wanted?”. Yes, and more if it please!

Musically, the tracks on “Temperance” fall between 4 and 5 minutes long with a standard structure. On their bio, AFTERIMAGE describes their sound as a mix of classic rock, jam band, prog, and metal. I think the first two work the most with a strong addition of blues more than prog or metal. If anything, the combination of elements creates a sort of grunge rock vibe in their delivery, but more polished and emotional in their songwriting. A big component of this is guitar player Brandon Curcio. His performance on the album is outstanding. His guitar tone takes on so many forms, from unhinged, opened up raw rock riffs to echoey, 70’s groovy notes to classic electric guitar clean sounds. All in one song. Check out “Kingdom Come”, where Curcio puts on a clinic and carries nearly the last two minutes of the track with a sweeping, powerful solo.

Lastly, the timing worked out such that I was able to catch a live stream performance as they participated in a fundraiser, Pizzastock, on July 18, 2020. Jason Coburn, who is listed on the album as the keyboard player, was not there to perform live. His work on “Temperance” is great as the keys fill in a lot of that bluesy, churchy organ sound. Even without Coburn participating in the live stream concert, these guys put on a hell of a show (especially considering the lack of an in-person audience). They absolutely rocked some of their songs from “Temperance” live, and even nailed a fantastic cover of “Sober” by TOOL. When the world opens back up, if you have the chance to see AFTERIMAGE live, do it. I bet these guys would put on an incredible show and you would be blown away by the energy alone.

Favorite Songs: “Narcissus”, “Kingdom Come

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Narcissus
2. Don’t Go Gently
3. Zeitgeist
4. Kingdom Come
5. Thy Will Be Done
6. Temperance
Griffin Romprey – Vocals
Casey Daron – Bass, Vocals
Brandon Curcio – Guitar
Jason Coburn – Keyboards
Andrew LeCuyer – Drums
Record Label: Krispy Krumble Records


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Edited 03 June 2023

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