Apparitions – ‘Kiss Me Sleeping’ (Indianola)
Formerly known as This Twilight City, they changed their name toApparitions as their music became heavier and darker. The band describes themselves as post-hardcore/pop metal, but these ears hear a lot of metalcore elements like breakdowns and alternating clean and harsh vocals.
The songs on Kiss Me Sleeping are heavy, but the melodic singing adds a lot of accessibility. Electronic elements help add a little uniqueness, but their sound is still similar to a legion of bands in the genre. However, their songwriting is good, and if their live show can capture the energy and emotion of the album, they’ll be on the right track.
Archon – ‘Ouroboros Collapsing’ (The Path Less Traveled)
The Path Less Traveled Recordings
Genre: Doom/Stoner/Drone Metal
‘Inevitable to end this way/Void/Crushes/Magnificent,’ sing vocalists Chris Dialogue and Rachel Brown as they trade clean despair with raspy doom. Five musicians circle the ritual ring of repetitive sorrow alit in the dying embers of tragedy’s certainty.
Slow drones and muted drums, baleful bass, guitars and keyboards are intermingled in Electric Wizard haziness. Chrome Waves epic, Archon embrace every bleak shade the mind can imagine. On Ouroboros Collapsing, they bring subtle pastels to their withering onslaught and scars to the listener’s psyche.
Athelstan – ‘The Ride’ (Seven Kingdoms)
Seven Kingdoms Records
Genre: Traditional Metal
Athelstan is half of the British duo Forefather, and The Ride is his debut solo album. Five of the songs are instrumentals, with the other two having vocals from the other half of Forefather, his brother Wulfstan.
The musical style of the album is pretty traditional, with bombastic guitars and a lot of melody. There are some piano sections and progressive influences as well. “Enchantment” (Bewitched)” is very cinematic with some mellow sections. The challenge of so many instrumentals is to hold the listener’s interest, and these songs definitely do.