And now for something completely different. Or rather, something I haven’t done in a while, thus creating an illusion of difference as I go about my textual ministrations. I present,Akphaezya, France’s finest in Avant-Garde Gothic/Progressive Death Metal/Funk/Blues/Lounge Jazz/Swing/Salsa/Big Band since Deathspell Omega, or “Eklektik Metal” as they call themselves. With a female vocalist/pianist by the name of Nehl Aëlin to boot, for all you uncultured cuntswabbers out there.
Yes, Akphaezya have all that, and they manage to sound fine while doing it. I found out about these guys whilst perusing Metal Hammer, back when I found Metal Hammer worth perusing, which is no longer the case. They gave it a low score of 5/10, saying it had no focus and lacked direction. Well kindly screw yourself Union Jack, because yes it does take a bit of time to wrap one’s mind around initially, but it’s not all that confusing when you give it a good listen. The problem with professional Metal reviewers is that they can’t give deserving Progressive albums the right score since they’re too busy circle jerking over familiar names to give new or obscure ones a listen, unless they happen to specialize in that field.
Having read Metal Hammer’s review and being an impressionable youngster with a deathwish, I looked them up, and I was pleasantly surprised at what I heard. It wasn’t a jumble of noise that attempted to be Mister Bungle on er… whatever drug you want to insert because I’m sure Mr. Patton and Co. have done it all. Chrysalis is actually quite well-crafted, going effortlessly from grand piano interlaced Metal of an unidentifiable genre, simmering down to a piano, drums, and bass, before exploding into a flurry of tremolo picking, blasting, and growling that only lasts for a few seconds, and then back to the melodic Progressive Metal and then negligently (though beautifully) clambering into a number that could easily climb the Latin Music charts if they built a whole song around that, then settling into a sleazy 30s nightclub tune, all in a minute and a half out of the total 6 minutes of the song.
Akphaezya is the result of throwing Arch Enemy, Angizia, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Moonlyght, and Gonin-Ish into a cement mixer. Angizia and Gonin-Ish are, in case you’re unfamiliar with them, two Avant-Garde Metal bands who put more focus on piano than heavy guitars, thus lending themselves comparisons to the band at hand. Holy balls, and they’re coming out with a new album soon, which, judging by the new song, promises to be just as good, if not better than Anthology II. And I’ve still no clue why their debut is entitled Anthology II, which is supposedly going to be a series of five, but that just adds to the colour I suppose. Now I’m gonna brush a banana with a squirrel.