Monday, March 18, 2013

Clever Chaos We Create - A Review of Phavian's Meridian I

I had a wild dream last night. I became motivated by visions of grandeur, convinced that I could lead humanity to a state of peace, calm and happiness. I became obsessed with bringing it to fruition. I traveled from town to town, spreading word of my vision to all whom would hear it. Eventually, the numbers of willing listeners grew. Even sooner, those evolved into ones willing to follow. Before I knew it, I had gained the power of voice over many. Yet, there was a constant shadow growing underneath it all. A shadow growing into disdain, anger and finally violence.

I lost control; fleeing into my own darkness …

Oh wait, that wasn’t a dream. It was Phavian’s new album, Meridian I.

Meridian I, the first of a four album wide concept, is the second album to be independently produced by this progressive metal quintet. While their music is primarily powered by a heavy metal guitar duo, it’s melismatic vocals and dynamic rhythm section combine for a provocative, organic sound.

Clocking at about 38 minutes, Meridian I features six songs, each a musical expression of the story I described earlier.

          1 Slate (5:28)
          2 Cobalt and Crimson (8:14)
          3 Stil de Grain (5:12)
          4 Tyrian (10:01)
          5 Feldgrau (5:36)
          6 Obsidian (2:58) 

Opening with the rifftastic Slate, Puyan Hassani’s guitar kicks the front door wide open with technical shredding that teases of his performances due ahead. Representing what I believe is the protagonist's guiding dream, we awaken from Slate into my current favorite song.

Cobalt and Crimson starts out smoothly with the introduction of Elizabeth Matson’s melodic vocals. Soon we’re guided smoothly through time signature changes by the meticulous percussion of Patrick Hassani. The band displays their talent for symphonic performance as they decrescendo into a beautiful acoustic mid-section accompanied by a superb bass line from Jason Lobell. Just as your ears are slipping into comfort, they’re accosted by a wall of dissident chords and vocals that catapult the track to it’s rocking conclusion. My only complaint is it ends on a fade out (while my ears cry out for more of Hassani's lead guitar). I can only imagine how this ending could sound in a live performance.

The whole album flows well into each new piece of music. Even the end of the album repeating back to the beginning seemed smooth. I wonder how this will all tie in to movements and medleys in the future releases.

I could go on but I don’t want to spoil it for you. You’ll just have to enjoy it for yourself. So if my complimentary prose here hasn’t convinced you to get Meridian I (if you pre-order it before Halloween you can get a limited edition T-Shirt), Phavian has a free demo album out called Foreword that previews a song from each of the forthcoming albums. Download it here.

Merdian I comes out October 31st. Order it here.

No comments:

Post a Comment