Aperion - Act of hybris 4/5

Reviewed: 12-1-10





Tracklist:

1. Source
2. Ocean
3. Shine
4. Urma
5. Light
6. Maya
7. Fairytale mind
8. Black flies
9. The truth
10. Fe+
11. Dajte
12. The concept
13. U


Aperion is a symphonic gothic metal band from Slovenia and this is their debut studio CD. Their songs are generally heavy, crunchy and mid-paced with frequent rocking power metal touches, along with several heavy acoustic ballads. Unlike most bands in this genre, the symphonic instrument is not keyboards but rather acoustic wind and string instruments; indeed, of the 8 band members, 4 of them play a dedicated such instrument: there is a cello, a flute, a viola and a didgeridoo. And, again unlike most bands in this genre, these instruments aren’t used to simply create a symphonic “atmosphere” but rather are fundamental to the actual song structures and arrangements, especially the melodies. Indeed, each song features several warm, lush, festive, often folksy acoustic instrumental passages to complement the catchy and engaging metal passages. This ends up creating a very satisfying variety and diversity in the songwriting, especially considering how smoothly the band transitions from one passage to the next in each song.

The vocals are primarily soprano female vocals, courtesy of Zala (all the band members go by a single name). She is an absolutely superb singer, with a strong, dramatic enchanting style that borders on anthemic at times. Her normal singing style reminds me a lot of Angel from Bare Infinity but Zala has quite a bit more variety than Angel in her delivery; she occasionally sings with an excellent lightly operatic style and is also capable of some pretty unusual vocal excursions. There are occasional male vocal harmonies as well.

For a self-released debut this is an extraordinarily well-done CD. For all the variety in the songs, they are generally relatively short with no filler whatsoever; they run the gamut from rocking to poppy to folksy to brooding ballads, not to mention the occasional weird vocal melody. Aperion clearly have a myriad of interesting musical ideas to share yet avoid the temptation to sacrifice accessible and engaging songwriting for intricacy or complexity for its own sake. This CD is strongly recommended for fans who would enjoy a seamless blend of Elis, Xandria and Lyriel.



CHRIS




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