Review by Tatianny Ruiz
These are good times for melodic death metal lovers, swept up by the wave of bands such as Soilwork and Arch Enemy, the rising name on the scene is that of French band Aephanemer and Napalm Records‘ re-released album “Prokopton” and the miscellany of thought-provoking scandinavian and symphonic elements matched to the speed and breadth that the eight tracks of this new effort.
Starting in beautiful Toulouse, France in 2013, guitarist Martin Hamiche‘s one-man band and his alchemy on the instrumental album based on their inspirations of melodic death metal, the 2014 EP “Know Thyself“, was the beginning of what was to become the band.
The fusion of the French words “éphémère” (ephemeral) and “fânée” (folded) christened the Aephanemer junction for Martin and Marion Bascoul (vocals and guitar), bassist Anthony Delmas who later in 2017 was replaced by Lucie Woaye Hune, and Mickaël Bonnevialle taking position on drums.
“Prokopton” represents a great growth of Aephanemer, since “Memento Mori” in 2016 the band has been advancing around the world and the performance at Wacken Open Air has only consolidated this new melodic and symphonic phase in more engaging and intense compositions.
Serving audiences a hypnotic art cover by Niklas Sundin of Cabin Fever Media, mixed by Dan Swanö of Unisound AB and mastered by Mika Jussila of Finnvox Studios, we opened the album on the title track “Prokopton” and softer melodies between cadenced fusion guitars in a beautiful fast symphonic line that contrasts with Marion‘s blackened vocal is your gateway.
We move on to “The Sovereign” and a powerful track just pushes the entire album from now on. Lifting a powerful wall of epic symphony we find more solidity in these musicians now, they finally found a sweet spot. “The Sovereign” is the checkmate for a new range of listeners, easily picked up from the demanding melodic metal audience and easily accepted to the extremes of the genre.
Something that I really appreciate about Aephanemer is exactly this break from the majestic sound, you know, this is a band looking forward to the aspects that the previous work has brought up, we feel a bit of a rush for it on tracks like “Dissonance Within” and “Snowblind” that end up repeating some elements but they have been able to retain for themselves the chemistry of “Memento Mori” bringing Prokopton a better absorption.
“At Eternity’s Gate” and “If I Should Die” are long tracks enhancing the album and wrap up my audition with some curiosity about how these musicians will take it all to the next album. Either way, they continue to snatch a fresh new identity to melodic death detal. From the official foundation in 2014 for the debut EP ‘Know Thyself‘, from the debut album ‘Memento Mori‘ in 2016 to the single ‘Path of the Wolf‘ in 2017, Aephanemer elegantly added the scandinavian melodic death metal musical elements to slavic traditional music and poignant classical symphonies that have brought a bit of freshness to the modern metal scene and generated significant expectation from its newly growing and rapidly growing fan base. Aephanemer is definitely ready to re-release his second album ‘Prokopton‘ on October 25, 2019 on Napalm Records and we can only hope that your ears will be mesmerized by “Prokopton“.
Rating – 90/100
- The Sovereign
- Dissonance Within
- At Eternity’s Gate
- Back Again
- If I Should Die
- Marion Bascoul – Vocals and rhythm guitar
- Martin Hamiche – Lead guitar
- Lucie Woaye-Hune – Bass
- Mickaël Bonnevialle – Drums