Gone in April – Threads of Existence (Self-Released)

Sunday, 10th April 2016
Rating: 8.5/10

In the land where the listener has heard it all, the hybrid reigns supreme. Taking some known metal talent in bassist Steve Di Giorgio (Death/Testament) and Yanic Bercier (ex-Quo Vadis) and spinning them into some familiar yet entirely new territory is never a bad start. Gone in April’s second album, Threads of Existence, should score some points in both the extreme categories as well as some symphonic metal ones.

Taking a route that employs both pummeling death metal segments alongside symphonic moments (complete with female vocals and strings courtesy of Julie Belanger Roy), Gone in April does right by both. You can take a song like “Relentless,” which sees Bercier blasting away on the drumkit while melodeath riffing takes front and center over Aaron Rogers growls. Beneath it all is Di Giorgio’s bass, frequently filling the soundscape with interesting rhythms (instead of following the guitars). But then Roy takes over and ushers in some melody, with soaring clean vocals that mesh well alongside Rogers’ roar. Think of it almost like Scar Symmetry meets Epica, as the progressive death metal frequently balances with the symphonic elements and Roy’s vocals, making a combination that should seem stale (beauty and beast vocals) into something that feels fresh and invigorating. Roy gets a shot to shine (both vocally and with violin) with the more mellow approach to “Embracing the Light,” which effectively cuts the album into two segments. What holds the songs together is the always complex and rich songwriting, which lends to the band being able to place strings, female vocals, growls, rumbling bass lines, blastbeats, and more into a single track without sounding fragmented or lackluster.

Threads of Existence stays nothing less than compelling from start to finish. One can take a single track and find more great and interesting things in it than many bands’ entire albums. (Melodic) death metal, symphonic metal, progressive metal – doesn’t matter what you are into, you’ll probably find something worth holding onto. A definite sleeper hit.

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