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Aphotic - Stillness Grows (9/10) - USA - 2004

Genre: Death Metal / Doom Metal
Label: Flood The Earth Records
Playing time: 50:19
Band homepage: Aphotic

Tracklist:

  1. Vulnerable
  2. Benumb
  3. Spores
  4. Loathe
  5. Lunar Ride
  6. Precipice
  7. Under Veil Of The Endless Grey Sky
  8. Atmosphere
  9. Free Me
  10. Livid Dread
  11. Glide
  12. Psychoma
  13. A Chance To Live
  14. Panoramic
Aphotic - Stillness Grows

APHOTIC are somewhat of a conundrum, or rather, I should say that their situation is. With the talent and brilliance that the band possesses, they should be hailed with the likes of MY DYING BRIDE in the Death-Doom circles, but instead, they toil in obscurity.

 

I can’t quite say what has gone wrong, but I have to admit that I haven’t exactly done my fair share to help the band out. While I’ve been aware of them for quite some time now, this is really my first real exposure to them outside of a handful of samples that I’ve come across and I feel disgraceful having not given them more of a chance beforehand.

 

Spanning APHOTIC’s career in reverse chronological order, “Stillness Grows” is comprised of three separate EPs: the as of yet unreleased “Stillness Grows”, “Under Veil Of Dark” and the self titled debut. Although the quality does increase with as APHOTIC age, with “Stillness Grows” being the best on this offering, there isn’t a single track on the disc that could be considered mediocre, instead, you’ll have trouble battling with yourself trying to determine just which track is your favourite.

 

So what is it exactly that makes APHOTIC so appealing to these ears? Well, APHOTIC isn’t one of those bands where the appeal is clouded in obscurity and you often have trouble placing your finger on what it is exactly that you enjoy so much, in fact, APHOTIC’s appeal is almost glaring in it’s obviousness. For one, the almost hypnotic melodies that are so discreetly placed all over the place just seep into your subconscious, not to mention the fantastic vocals (although, perhaps the clean vocals are just a tad underused). My favourite aspect of APHOTIC’s sound, however, is there uncanny ability to meld Doom and Death Metal together so successfully. Typically, a band of this genre gets the tag simply due to the vocalist, whereas the actual music itself has little or nothing to do with Death Metal, since doing so would effectively remove any traces of Doom. APHOTIC, however, have found a way to infuse a great deal of Death into their Doom laden sound, all while managing to keep and without diminishing the characteristically sombre and melancholic Doom flavour.

 

Hopefully APHOTIC’s luck will change for the better in the coming future, because it would be regretful for a band with clearly so much to offer to go unnoticed and unappreciated it’s whole career. (Online July 11, 2004)

Mark McKenna



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