30 GENNAIO 2018

Rapheumets Well is a quintet from North Caroline, USA, in activity since 2008  formed with remnants of God of Blue Man. Musically they follow a musical line that could be classified as Symphonic / Progressive Extreme Metal. The current line up is Jeb Laird (lead vocals, bass), Annette Greene (clean vocals, keys), Brett Lee and Hunter Ross (Guitars), Joshua Ward (Nasaru) (drummer, vocals).

Enders Door from 2017 is the latest of the three albums released by the band. The sound is characterized by exquisite instrumentals, turned to heavy  and symphonic moments with orchestrations, projecting a lot of cohesion in the band. It's not without a reason the band quotes names like Mozart and Johann Sabastian Bach as musical references. In addition to the influence of extreme music and erudite music one can notice in some passages the influence of ambient music and a certain Gothic vein.

Rapheumets Well has top-notch musicians, including the beautiful vocal work of keyboardist and singer Annette Greene, who brings beauty inside weight, with a lyrical singing style that counterpoints the guttural vocals of Jeb Laird . In addition to the beautiful vocals, Annette also does a great job on the keyboards where she explores nuances and many textures. In the most symphonic parts, one can clearly see the classic influence in his style. The influence of ambient music is also present in the quieter parts. The work of guitar duo Brett Lee and Hunter Ross is also excellent and gives us melodic and technical solos and killer riffs. And the drummer Joshua Ward shows his great technique by punching the skins with fury and precision and leaving no holes in the sound.

In relation to the lyrics, Rapheumets Well follows a Sci-Fi style, making wide use of the imagination, topics about cosmic portals, interdimensional journeys and "portraying the epics of the parallel worlds" as mentioned by themselves there is inspiration from 80's movies too.

"The Travaler" that opens the album begins like a cinematographic piece, introducing the listener to the world of Rapheumets Well. It begins slowly and grows until it reaches the apex when the whole band rises up in fury. The guitar solo stands out. Following, we got "Distress On The Aberrant Planet": the guitars again do a great job on the solo intro. Here, the counterpoint between Jeb Laird's guttural vocals and Annette's lyrical vocals become more apparent. Drummer Joshua Ward does not rest and punches the drums without mercy!

"The Autogenous Extinction" starts with the keyboard doing an orchestration with Annette’s voice in the  background. But make no mistake, it's just a preparation for the sonorous brutality that comes next! "Secrets of The Demigods" keeps the punch. In the final part the guitar makes a nice fingerpick, and finishes the song slowly in fade out. On the introduction of "Lechery Brought The Darkness" we can clearly notice the erudite influence in a nice little piece, that again sets the stage for the aggressive sound of the band. In this song the band uses more harmonic and rhythmic variations, almost flirting with progressive rock, making an intimist passage in the middle of the song with Annette's vocal. Then, returns in weight and the music ends in a very fast guitar solo.

"Enders Door," the title track of the album, begins with a mystical introduction preparing ground for the band. It stands out the riff and the orchestrations. "Prisoner of the Rift" begins acoustically, only guitar and voice, and grows of the middle part to the end. "The Diminished Strategist" begins very aggressively and in the middle have a beautiful passage of piano and a vocalization that follows the song to the end. "Nastarian Waltz" is a little instrumental piece, as an ambient music style,and prepares to  aggressive and fast "Ghost Walkers Exodus". "Killing The Colossus" reminds me doom metal style and ending with a melancholy guitar with a harpsichord’s fingerpick in background. "Eishar's Lament" is a nice piece on the piano. Hats off to Annette! Closing the album we have the "Unveiling The Sapient" that starts with organ sound and is grow during the audition with the guitars ahead. Highlight for the great guitar solo!

“Enders Door” is undoubtedly a great album and certainly will make Rapheumets Well grow among extreme music lovers.

 

Emerson Mello

90/100