Aphrodite – Orgasmic Glory (Fighter Records)

Thursday, 15th April 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

Bursting out of the gates with their appeasing 2019 debut Lust and War, Canadian trio Aphrodite return to impress through a primal speed metal platform on Orgasmic Glory. Sometimes as a listener in today’s market where many musicians seem to combine two or more sub-genres to establish a distinctive, fresh take on a style, it’s very pleasurable to just hear a band who go for what they want, plug in and play without really trying to shake things up. In these eight tracks, you’ll get frantic lead breaks, speedy galloping riffs, relentless tempos with lightning quick fills plus vocals that contain everything from mid-range moaning to high octane screams.

Between Jo Steel’s fluid mechanics on guitars, bass, and drums and the additional fierce axe lead support from Brennen Witworth, you can hear elements of Iron Maiden ratcheted up to Agent Steel meets Exciter degrees of energy when taking in the main musical components for “Chariot of the Sun” or “Blood of Aphrodite”. When the band choose to slow things down for the early measures of “Meadows of Asphodel”, you can sense a traditional 80’s headbanging vibe in the hooks and supplementary lead breaks – as if Twisted Sister and Accept were taken under the Aphrodite prism, including some chanting gang background vocal support in key lines so that Tanza Speed can showcase a bit of her lower register. She just has an ease about her delivery that differs from most singers on the planet – occasionally matching the riffs note for note but then ascending to the heavens in metallic glory as “Dance Wild and Free” showcases. The OTT aspects as far as slides, bends, tapping, shrieking, and full force snare/kick hits propel the record, hitting the listener in all those early youth feel moments when you wanted something to rage with, take your frustrations out in a healthy manner, and come back a better person for it. The lower production values may be the only detriment to some (you feel like this has a dingy, basement vibe that causes the listener to crank up certain equalizer aspects for better sonic improvement), but the straight-ahead speed and catchy mid-tempo transitions even things out, along with the Greek mythology lyrical content.

Orgasmic Glory proves Aphrodite belongs in the conversation for another Canadian speed metal act to enjoy and treasure two albums in. Raise thy axe, bang thy head, scream and shout.

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