Review by Harrie de Haas
“Paradox Of Denial” (release date August 19th) is the 7th full length album of the Canadian band “AraPacis”. “AraPacis” is a female-fronted metal band hailing from Montreal, Canada. Formed in 2003 by guitarist Jerry Fielden, and fronted by Scots singer Shelle Macpherson, their main goal is to “re-create some of the original aspects of 1970’s Hard Rock and Progressive Rock and fuse it together with 21st Century Prog Metal, Doom Metal & Metalcore to make an interesting metal hybrid. And looking at the personal influences of the band members you can imagine there are is a lot of music from the 1970’s Hard Rock in their music.
Aldo Jerry is a multi-instrumentalist (guitars, synths, mandolin, bass and drums), they had the help of a lot of friends on “Paradox Of Denial”. I will tell you later who they are.
With all the different influences they have it’s hard to start listening to an album like this. Is it really a Hard Rock album or is it more metal hybrid as they call it? The only way to find out is to listen to the album and hear what they have made of it. So, I did and I can tell you that I didn’t expect an album like this. The album contains 7 tracks and they are all totally different, I think. They used a lot of different styles and that shows the versatility of “AraPacis”.
The first track on the album is “Order Of The Ember Queen”. It starts as an old school hard Rock classic. I even thought in the beginning I was listening to a “Black Sabbath” song with a female Ozzy. But when the keyboards got in it could be Deep Purple you’re listening to. But it’s just a wonderful Hard Rock track with a lot of varieties in it. “Pressure Cooker” sounds complete different, it’s a track with a lot of blues in it. “Propaganda Messiah” let’s hear us a growling Shelle. Most of the track is pure dark metal but with a few intermezzo’s with go from dark to opera. But I have to admit that’s not the best part of song. “Dirty Soap” is a jazzy number, not my kind of music, but it shows again what this band is capable of. I can enjoy “The Devil’s Prince”, it’s going a bit rougher again. A song where music and voice match wonderful. A bit psychedelic, but wonderful to listen to. And back to the simplicity of rock with “Spearhead”, a song in which I recognize a band as “Accept”. The last track of this album, the title track of the album “Paradox Of Denial”, is the longest one (9.46). A real nice ending of the album, I think. Maybe a little bit too long but it suits wonderful. “Paradox Of Denial” is an album with a lot of different faces. But it shows us how versatile this band is. Both Shelle and Jerry did a great job on this album and showed us that there are lots of opportunities to make an album with different styles of music. The music is extremely well cared for and I can say the same about the lyrics. And this all together with the voice of Shelle, it’s an album that perfectly fits in the album collection of everyone who likes Hard Rock.
Review – 88/100
- Order Of The Ember Queen
- Pressure Cooker
- Propaganda Messiah
- Dirty Soap
- The Devil’s Prince
- Paradox of Denial
- Shelle Macpherson – Vocals
- Jerry Fielden – Guitars, backing vocals, synths, mandolin, bass, drums
- Steph Honde – lead guitar in “Paradox Of Denial”
- Mark Focarile – synth lead in “Paradox Of Denial”
- Dwane Dixon – lead guitar in “Dirty Soap”
- Gillan Macpherson-Briggs – back vocals in “Spearhead”
- Philippe Mius D’Entremont – cello in “Paradox Of Denial”
- Gwendoline Krasnicki – viola in “Paradox Of Denail”
- Kayla Dixon – lead vocals first verse and back vocals on rest in “Dirty Soap”
- Lorrie Snyder – scat jazz vocals in “Propagandha Messiah”
- David Stone – keyboards in “Order Of The Ember Queen”