Æpoch – Æpochalypse (Self-Released)

Friday, 8th January 2016
Rating: 8/10

Progressive, melodic, technical. All three assets you can expect to hear when you check out Ontario, Canada’s Æpoch. Æpochalypse is the first EP from the band, who have only released a three song promotional demo up to this point (two of those songs appear once more on Æpochalypse). The background here is necessary, since hearing this release, you’d never expect that this is such a young group.

The way that Æpoch puts the three aforementioned qualities into their music is nothing short of impressive. Keeping things on the heavy yet progressive side, there’s also a bit of energetic groove that comes into play (“Plummet”) and they do seem to most comfortable sticking to the mid-tempo range, where they can launch some real headbangable riffs. Keeping things firmly locked in the death metal spectrum, it’s hard to get through one of these tracks without getting a riff or two stuck in one’s head (the end of “City of Statues” instantly comes to mind here). The two-part, 15-minute title track is really where the band shines brightest. Some injections of technical riffing and leadwork from time to time keeping things fresh, along with the barrage of groovy, mid-tempo pummeling intertwined with standout melodies. The bass even gets some deserved spotlight time. Top it all off with a stunning guest solo from Benjamin Ellis of Bloodshot Dawn, and you’ve got an incredible one-two punch that justly takes up about half of the album’s runtime.

An impressive debut that takes many familiar elements and twists them into something Æpoch can call their own, Æpochalypse has a lot to offer. Technically infused yet always memorable, Æpoch could be doing some big things in their future, considering this is their first real offering. Death metal fans take note!

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