Review by Tony Cannella
The Los Angeles, California based Avant-Garde Progressive metal band Phavian released their debut in 2009, followed by the previously reviewed “Foreword” EP in 2011, now these musical wizards return with their sophomore full-length album “Meridian I”. For a prog release the album last only 37-minutes and features 6-songs. I liked the previous EP, maybe a tad more than this one, but “Meridian I” displays some serious musicality and shouldn’t be dismissed.
The band is only too eager to show off their musical chops like in the heavy, pounding instrumental opener “Slate”. Phavian also plays with various tempos as the next track “Cobalt and Crimson” demonstrates with its slow, heavy and dreamy pacing, and also the introduction the clean vocals of Elizabeth Matson. The song also clocks in at very prog-like 8-minutes long. Near the end of the song the tempo speeds up and this ending section really salvages the song for me, this is just an excellent burst of solid musicianship and vocals. “Stil de Grain” is next and boasts a nice steady rhythm and pace to it, the first half of this song is an instrumental before Elizabeth joins in. This is followed by the obligatory prog epic with the 10-minute “Tyrian”, my favorite part of the song is the guitar solo that surfaces about two minutes into the song. “Meridian I” is concluded by the duo of “Feldgrau” and the beautiful piano outro “Obsidian”.
Apparently, “Meridian I” is the first part of a concept that will span four albums. This is certainly an ambitious undertaking, but Phavian are an ambitious band. I would definitely recommend this band to fans of Opeth or middle period The Gathering. Phavian will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but still this is a worthwhile band for prog fans to check out.
Rating – 73/100
- Cobalt and Crimson
- Stil de Grain