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Aphyxion - Void

Aphyxion
Void
by Sean McGuirk at 07 June 2019, 1:50 AM

Denmark’s APHYXION have been playing Melodic Death Metal since 2007, when the band members were merely pre-teens. They have stuck with it, and, with the exception of one or two changes in the ranks, they remain the same band with roughly the same sound. “Void,” their third full-length, is a step in a more melodic metalcore direction, with impeccable production from seasoned professional Jacob Hansen (DELAINVOLBEATAMARANTHE).  With him, you know what you are going to get, and that’s a close-to-radio-friendly, ear-pleasing, tastefully electronic brand of heavy music. On that promise, the album certainly delivers.

At the expense of this sought-after sound is a sense of live performance that is lost in the mix. Michael Vahl’s shouted vocals, which are prototypical to the genre, have such a static attitude to them that you start to lose track. There are, of course, clean vocals scattered throughout, like in “Sleepwalkers,” an obvious single, that has a catchy backing chorus. The overall effect is a mix of Pop and Metal that SOILWORK perfected on their nu-classics “Natural Born Chaos” and “Figure Number Five.” The album even more closely resembles fellow Danes, RAUNCHY, one of my favorite of the Nu-Metal bands that came out of the early 2000’s. They were produced by Hansen throughout their entire career, and it shows, as this record contains a lot of the same Djent-y electronic tricks, like pulsing synth sounds, vocal layering and light orchestrations evident on a song like “Crown of Thorns.”

The mix is so dynamic and interesting that most of the staid genre tropes aren’t much of an issue. It’s a truly listenable record, with enough bells and whistles to keep the mind occupied. “A Gap of Sky” is another potential single, but then again you could say that about any of the 11 tracks on this record. “Pain” adds a different flavor into the mix, it’s got a nice hook, but also introduces some distant clean guitar, female vocalizations, and quiet moments that build emotion. The end of this record really shines: “No Man Is An Island” is an emotional Metalcore powerhouse of a song, while the epic finale, “Void,” brings it home with an ethereal fade out.

It’s hard to comment on the rest of the band’s performance as there’s not much of a live feel to this. Everyone is certainly adept and Jakob Jensen’s drumming, as you might expect, is tight as hell. If you’re into this genre of music, you can’t get much better than this record. That being said, I’m not sure how much of an achievement that is, considering all those albums that have come before it. If you misplaced this one in your car, I don’t think you’d be too hard-pressed to find a replacement.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 4
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fork Tongued
2. Sleepwalkers
3. Restless Nights
4. Crown Of Thorns
5. Happily Apathetic
6. A Gap Of Sky
7. Sedate Myself
8. Pain
9. No Man Is An Island
10. Stronger In The End
11. Void
Lineup:
Michael Vahl - Vocals
Jonas Haagensen - Lead Guitars
Jesper Haas - Rhythm Guitars
Jais Jessen - Bass, Backing Vocals
Jakob Jensen - Drums
Record Label: Prime Collective
     


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Edited 19 June 2019
 

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