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Band: Aphelion
Album: I
Castle Blakk Radio Album Reviews
Aphelion review by DJ Fist

Aphelion is a raw melodic blackened death metal band from Missouri. This review is from their EP titled I that was released on April 2nd, 2019. The band consists of Brandon Teel on Guitar and Bass, Karl Dahmer on vocals and Zach VanBecelaere on drums.

Tracks:

1. Mercy in Eclipse (Intro) 00:59
2. Inferno Malefic 03:54
3. Curses in Tongue 03:20
4. Cloak of Dying Light 04:09
5. Denizen of Derelict Practice 04:58
6. Of Lesser Gods (Outro) 00:53

The intro track, Mercy in Eclipse has some creepy chanting going on or maybe it's some dark, evil priests conjuring demons. At the end of the intro, we are introduced to a black metal scream that carries over to the next song. It's a good, short intro that doesn't carry on too long like some intros do that tend to make me want to skip the track, but not this one. It's just long enough and it sets a good dark tone for the songs to follow.

Inferno Malefic starts of at a fast pace that follows the black metal scream from Mercy in Eclipse. There is a good black metal guitar sound by Brandon Teel and the drums by Zach VanBecelaere are pretty frantic and fast paced. It's a great way to start the EP after the short intro. The vocals from Karl Dahmer come in and I can't understand a single word but that's alright. This is black/heavy metal. Things slow down a bit at the :55 second mark of the song with a little bit of a slower riff. It sounds maybe a bit doomy a little before speeding back up. The song goes from the blasting to slower again and back to blasting and again back to slower with that slight doom feel to it. At 2:52, there are some single notes played over the black metal vocal style that is very effective before once again going to a faster tempo. The songs gets cut off at the end. The abrupt ending sounds a little odd but perhaps it is intended.

Curses in Tongue starts off at a mid-tempo pace with some tremolo guitar picking going on. The vocals come in and they mix well with the guitar and drums. This is a good break from the mostly fast paced Inferno Malefic song. Two breakneck songs in a row might have felt like too much. The Curses in Tongue song gets fast again around the 1:54 mark with the drumming going crazy. It sounds cool. The song slows down again at 2:50 and it fits for a good ending of the song.

Cloak of Dying Light begins at a mid-tempo pace as the previous song, Curses in Tongue. This is the first song where I can hear some bass guitar. It is doubling the notes that the guitar is playing, and it makes it sound fuller with that going on. The song mostly stays in mid-tempo but it picks up a bit a little past the halfway mark. The end of the song has a great sounding doomy/death metal sound to it.

Denizen of Derelict Practice starts off nicely with some guitar work with a delay effect on them. It slows things down nicely on the EP. It speeds up at around the :30 second mark and it is similar to the other faster parts of the release. Again, I can pick up the bass guitar in this song and it mixes well in the song with the guitars and makes it sound richer and fuller. Maybe there was bass on the first three songs, but I didn't notice them. I notice the bass here in this song and Cloak of Dying Light. At the 2:10 mark, there is a nice sounding change to the song. It gets a little groove to it but sounds super heavy. Then it gets fast again. It does this again, going from the groove part to the fast part again and that works well. It's not corny groove metal, don't think that but the word groove to me sounds like the right word. At the 3:56 mark there is a great part where the vocals are highlighted with the drums that sounds great.

Of Lesser Gods brings back some more chanting stuff that was introduced in the Mercy in Eclipse intro. This is another short outro that works well and closes the EP very well.

Usually I don't pay much attention to the lyrics of songs, but I wish the lyrics were included in this release. It would be good to see what the singer is singing about. But overall, this is a very strong release. It's will get more enjoyable with more listens. Keep an eye out for Aphelion. It will be interesting to see how the band progresses.

My rating would be an 8 out of 10.

Check out Aphelion at the following pages:

https://www.facebook.com/aphelionblackmetal

https://aphelionblackmetal.bandcamp.com