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Apoapsis - Balance

Apoapsis
Balance
by Mark Sworder at 26 April 2015, 4:23 PM

Hailing from Connecticut in the United States, progressive metal band APOAPSIS clearly state their intentions from the opening moments of their new EP, "Balance". Big grooves, skilled interaction of dual guitars, and the combination of clean and distorted tones create a unique atmosphere, and fill out the sound in a way that is not often heard without the prominent use of keyboards or synthesisers. All this is demonstrated in the brief instrumental opener, "Ballistic".

The excellent musicianship continues as a dual vocal approach is introduced on the first full song, "Standing Tide". The clean tones and growls combine and interact to full effect, blending the sometimes melancholy, sometimes uplifting moments of clean vocals with the aggressiveness associated with the growls. Over the length of the EP, full use is made of both vocal styles. This is particularly evident in the harsh growls, where both low guttural tones and higher pitched screams are used.

The intensity continues apace, albeit with brief moments of calm, throughout the rest of the EP. The variation in texture, from the brutal and aggressive to the more relaxed, almost ambient in feeling, moments, is achieved seamlessly, and never feels forced. While doing this, all the members of APOAPSIS, and their playing, are given time to shine.

The style of APOAPSIS is dominated by the seemingly ever changing rhythms and onslaught of sound. During the lengthier track, "Don't Hold Back", further complexities are included, with the noticeable addition of a great guitar solo. The inclusion of such moments like this and the slower, clean passages, act as a much needed respite from the intensity of much of the EP. The time allowed to get your breath back makes the whole experience of listening that much more enjoyable!

After another longer track, which features some of the most interesting guitar work on the EP, APOAPSIS wisely conclude with the title track - another shorter, precise example of their progressive yet rhythmic style of metal. All of the musical features used prior to clearly define their sound are again present, and make for a satisfying conclusion.

The only criticisms that could be made of the "Balance" EP would be that the production is at times lacking, with one slight change in volume for no apparent reason sticking in the mind. However, this may not be noticeable to a different ear. Additionally, the vocal performances perhaps don't match the level of the guitar and drum work, but APOAPSIS do set themselves a high standard, and both vocalists will only get better with time!

Generally, progressive music is always going to take multiple listens to appreciate fully. However, from a first listen to this effort from APOAPSIS, it's clear that they're a band that know exactly what they want to achieve musically, and are more than capable of doing it!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ballistic
2. Standing Tide
3. Forward Motion
4. Don't Hold Back
5. From Within
6. Balance
Lineup:
Jonathan Hammer - Vocals
Andrew Pinto - Vocals/Guitar
Martin Jose - Guitar
Brendan Mangiafico - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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