Afterimage – Temperance (Krispy Krumble Records)Thursday, 4th June 2020
We often start our musical journey during high school or college, formulating bands based on mutual interests and broadening our horizons. Such is the case for Afterimage – meeting up in 2016 at Keene State College in New Hampshire, transforming themselves from a college party band start into an original entity. Releasing their first EP in 2018 entitled WEMF Sessions from a live radio broadcast, they’ve been playing venues across New England, gaining the chance to open for a diverse roster including Morbid Angel, Secrets, and Hank Von Hell of Turbonegro. Temperance is the latest six-song EP for the quintet – showcasing an act that fuses elements of hard rock, metal, and jam bands to deliver a diverse, alluring, and progressive sound.
Collectively looking at some of their influences, the band possesses a hypnotic, captivating sound that locks onto specific psychedelic or 70’s style main musical hooks, only to launch off into doom/stoner or modern progressive motives. As a guitarist Brandon Curcio wields a mighty axe, and along with bassist Casey Daron forms an intuitive interplay aspect that can do into Rush/Tool angles one minute, but then be very Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath-esque the next measure. The band can easily move from a faster, more blitzkrieg musician-filled effort like “Narcissus” and then put on the brakes to be more tender, restrained, and thoughtful through emotive melodies and acoustic/electric buildups and transitions for the follow-up “Don’t Go Gently”. Jason Coburn as a keyboardist offers another melodic pillar that launches the band in Deep Purple or Phish/Lynyrd Skynyrd pastures – setting a bluesy table for “Kingdom Come” as vocalist Griffin Romprey gives a goose-bump delivery in the verses and chorus. His voice is one for the ages – soulful, powerful, multi-faceted and up there for the elevated presence Afterimage has in all departments for musicianship and songwriting craft. All six songs bristle with that charm, grace, and energy of these musicians truly passionate about their work – but for this scribe’s money, the extended lead break and darker tones of “Kingdom Come” going into “Thy Will Be Done” should get audiences swaying, swinging, and mesmerized for a lifetime.
Now all finished their undergraduate studies, Afterimage will hopefully be able to take this to even more serious levels of creativity and live show support. Temperance has the fluid songwriting and stand-out connective qualities to make most hard rock and metal followers pleased and will be interesting to watch the development down the line.