Reviews of Netherworld
Ravenheart Review of Netherworld
(Ravenheart Music) Reviewed 7th December 2011
Arapacis was formed by guitarist Jerry Fielden in Montreal, Canada, in 2003 with the goal of fusing together 70's hard rock and prog with modern gothic, prog and doom metal to form a unique metal fusion, hence they cite their influences as Deep Purple to Rush to Leaves Eyes to Dream Theater to Candlemass, quite a portfolio. This is their third album, following on from 'So Many Leapers' in 2006 and 2009's 'Consequences of Dreams'. Out front is red hot flame haired Lizzie Fyre who can not only really belt it but also has a lovely French vibrato, rather like Belinda Carlisle but with extra oomph. First spin shows that compared to their previous efforts they don't bounce between their extremes as much, but generally opt for a more conventional hard rocking style. The production is also much improved, the murk has cleared and it sounds far more refined. Highlights are the awesome catchy driving rockers 'End of the Line', 'Horror Show' and 'Unbirth' that remind me of The Dictators. 'Lords of Clouds' and 'The Affliction', as befits their titles, have a more doom and Black Sabbath vibe, while 'Beautifully Blind' is a lovely Jethro Tull esque acoustic ballad with some super violin. The most singular and striking number is 'Crisis' which is far more prog metal and marks the welcome appearance of synths courtesy of Guy LeBlanc (Camel, Nathan Mahl), adding some much needed variety to the sound, it has some surprising changes of tempo, and as to what the syncopated key signature is, the mind boggles. On 'Beneath Me' they have an ill-advised bash at death/black metal, quite why Lizzie wants to risk her voice and hence her career by growling and screaming goodness only knows, this is the one song that should have been binned, it does not fit in at all. I'm baffled why the unrepresentative 'Crisis' is the lead single, it's a great song but people will think they're a prog metal band with keyboards, a radio edit of 'Unbirth' would be the more obvious choice. I say radio edit because this and the ballad have unnecessarily extended heavy endings, I'm a strong believer in the KISS method, no, not Gene Simmons and his painted pals, but keep it simple stupid, especially when the songs themselves are so good and stand on their own merits, less can be more. On the other hand the final instrumental 'Dark Days Ahead' sounds like a terrific intro to an unfinished epic, this really does need developing. Throughout the album Jerry provides lashing of expert shredding, and in Lizzie they have a unique, stunning and outstanding singer. Netherworld sees marked improvement in every department, and they have in the main curtailed their excesses to create a far more consistent and polished album with some excellent songs. Initiallly available digitally with the physical release expected early in 2012, this is more for fans of traditional heavy metal and classic heavy rock, their Netherworld lies here, a much improved 8.5/10 (Phil)
ARAPACIS-Netherworld (Ravenheart Music)
Welcome to the third album by Montreal, Canada based band ARAPACIS. They take you on a journey through various styles in nine brand new tracks and forty-five minutes of rock music. “End Of The Line” already shows, that the band very easily mixes different styles with each other. The main ingredient is rock or metal, but some serious side steps are made here as well. The hard core like screams in this opener for example are not really expected by yours truly at all, but they are there alright. The guitar solo sounds great and the riffs are heavy. Lizzie’s vocals remind me of Gigi Hangach (formerly PHANTOM BLUE singer) at times, only less screaming. A similar vocal sound appears in “Horror Show”, that has some very heavy riffs accompanying it. The guitar solo is once again the eye-catcher here and I just love the sound of the cow bell. It gives it a certain retro twist, that I very much like. “Lord Of The Clouds” is a lengthy and epical tale. It starts with some heavy doomy guitars. This is officially the first doom track by ARAPACIS, I guess and a damn good one, too. Some of the grunt vocals are maybe a bit too much, but I think that this song can easily be added among the highlights on this new silver disc for me. “Crisis” feels good, because of the progressive feeling in this song and the keyboards, that fit very well on a song like this. “Unbirth” sounds very catchy and the instrumental part lifts it up to a higher level. In “The Affliction”, Lizzie shows us, that she can scream out loud as well. It mixes well with the heavy groove of the song. Just listen to the heavy riffs in this track. The solo, that Jerry provides here, is simply high class! Then the time has arrived to slow things down a bit for the ballad, which is called “Beautifully Blind”. It sounds very attractive and shows that these people can be sensitive at times, too - in case you doubted this. Jerry however needed to put some powerful guitar explosions into this track and I must say, that I liked this a lot. How huge is the gap, that you have to jump over to soak up a song like “Beneath Me”? This is death metal with grunts and haunting rhythms. Nobody can make an unexpected switch like that, I guess. It’s truly amazing though how they handle a song like that. The fast and fieriness, that they play this song is really amazing and you can hardly imagine that this is the same band, that almost made you cry of deep emotional feelings in the previous song on this album. The last track is called “Dark Days Ahead” and is a very sober and short instrumental outro and completely different from what we’ve heard until now. The variety of songs is endless on this album and I am sure, that everybody will easily find something for his or her taste here. The songs are great and performed by high class musicians, so high five and both thumbs up again for ARAPACIS. I wonder, who is going to open his eyes and make this band come over to Europe for some shows. I think, they will please a lot of people. Until that happens, I will give this album another spin or two and take another trip to ARAPCIS’ “Netherworld”. ARAPACIS is Lizzie Fyre on vocals, Jerry Fielden on guitar, keyboards, bass and mandolin and Matthieu Roy on drums. Website: http://www.arapacis.com. [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)
CD Review: NETHERWORLD
By: Dan Brisebois
The third album from Montreal's Arapacis is a continuation of an assault on everything you've come to understand heavy metal to be - nine originals that make you take notice.
The lineup is streamlined to a trio - with Lizzie Fyre on vocals, guitarist Jerry Fielden, and drummer Mathieu Roy, along with a host of guest studio musicians.
Most of the songs on NETHERWORLD are too long (and WAY too heavy) for conventional radio play, but that fits into the apparent game plan just fine. The songs simply have too much going for them to restrain them to under three and a half minutes - designed for appreciation, not heard then forgotten. With each listen you take home something new.
"Lord of the Clouds" rings in at seven minutes, a mini-epic with a haunting guitar solo and solid backbeat that highlights one of the hardest-working bands on the circuit. Other songs like the lead-off "End of the Line," "Crisis," and "Beneath Me" are pure energy - frantic fretwork that carefully doesn't cross the line of monotony.
The grungy screaming won't be for everyone, but songs like "The Affliction" and "Beneath Me" showcase Fyre's vocal prowess - what some might consider the epitome of the next generation of Canadian rockers, a new standard that's being set and will be hard to match.
With the acoustic renderings in "Beautifully Blind," "Unbirth," and the instrumental "Dark Days Ahead" (the only tune under three minutes), the songs show a band that's matured, but still growing. They're comfortable in their own skin, and is now simply evolving, reaching for new plateaus.
Album: Netherworld (2011)
Style : Progressive Gothic Metal
Compagnie : Ravenheart Music
Format : CD
Liste des pistes :
1. End of the Line
2. Horrow Show
3. Lords of Clouds
6. The Affliction
7. Beautifully Blind
8. Beneath Me
9. Dark Days Ahead
Auteur : Albert Lamoureux
Après deux ans d’attente ainsi qu’après de multiples changements de personnel au niveau de la section rythmique, le groupe montréalais Arapacis nous offre finalement leur troisième album intitulé ‘Netherworld’. Le noyau du groupe est toujours composé de Jerry Fielden à la guitare (et à la basse sur l’album) ainsi que de Lyzzie Fyre au chant. Nous retrouvons maintenant Mathieu Roy à la batterie.
Dès l’écoute du titre ‘End of the Line’, nous remarquons que la musique du groupe est toujours constituée du mélange des styles progressif et métal. Nous avons droit à une lourde mélodie de guitare qui s’oppose bien à la voix de Lyzzie. Les cris au style death que l’on retrouve dans le refrain sont surprenants, mais ne sont pas déplaisants. En plus d’une mélodie de guitare entrainante, nous retrouvons aussi l’omniprésence d’une cloche à vache dans le titre ‘Horror Show’. Malheureusement pour ce dernier, l’utilisation abusive de cette cloche à vache prend beaucoup trop de place et relègue au second plan l’excellent travail de Mathieu à la batterie. Les amateurs de la musique doom seront ravis d’entendre le titre ‘Lord of the Clouds’. La lenteur de son rythme et la lourdeur de ses guitares véhiculent une atmosphère sinistre qui s’agence parfaitement avec le style vocal de Lyzzie. Comme nous pouvons le remarquer à l’écoute du titre ‘Crisis’, le groupe ne néglige pas ses influences progressives. Il est donc normal de retrouver les claviers (gracieuseté de Guy LeBlanc du groupe Camel) au premier plan de ce titre énergique. Il est aussi plaisant de voir que les multiples changements de rythmes s’enchainent à perfection sans nuire la fluidité de la musique. La voix de Lyzzie est le point central des titres ‘The Affliction‘, ‘Beautifully Blind’ et ‘Beneath Me’. Elle est capable de nous offrir une performance agressive sur la première pièce tandis que l’émotivité prend le dessus dans sa prestation sur ‘Beautifully Blind’. La surprise provient cependant de sa prestation vocale sur le titre ‘Beneath Me’. Le style death qu’elle préconise est tellement différent que l’on pourrait penser que c’est l’œuvre d’une chanteuse invitée spécifiquement pour ce titre. Aussi plaisante soit-elle, cette pièce semble provenir d’un autre album tellement elle est différente du reste de la musique de ce disque. Ce dernier se termine avec la mélancolique pièce instrumentale intitulée ‘Dark Days Ahead’. Même si la musique est très bonne, elle semble inachevée et aurait davantage sa place en introduction d’un morceau plus complexe au lieu de clore l’album.
Tout comme les albums précédents du groupe, ‘Netherworld’ saura plaire aux amateurs de musique progressive et métal. Mais à notre grande surprise, nous y retrouvons aussi quelques compositions pour les amateurs de musique plus agressive. L’album se démarque cependant de ses prédécesseurs par la maturité des compositions, la qualité de la production ainsi que l’excellent travail de Jerry à la guitare.
New Album Review: AraPacis ‘Netherworld’
POSTED BY LITTLE QUEEN ⋅ MAY 8, 2012 ⋅ 1 COMMENT
FILED UNDER ARAPACIS, NETHERWORLD
AraPacis – ‘Netherworld’
Lizzie Fyre: Vocals
Jerry Fielden: Guitars, bass, mandolin, keyboards and arrangements
Matt Roy: Drums and arrangements
I have to say, Canada puts out some of the best music on the planet and AraPacis is no different. Hailing from Montreal and fronted by one of the best female metal singers I’ve heard in a while, AraPacis’s new album ‘Netherworld’ is anything but your average metal album.
Named after a famous monument in Rome, a brief history of the band, as provided by their Facebook page: “AraPacis (Ara-Patches) is a female fronted metal band hailing from Montreal, Canada. Formed in 2003 by guitarist Jerry Fielden, their main goal was to re-create some of the original aspects of 1970′s Hard Rock and Progressive Rock and fuse it together with early 21st Century Prog Metal, Doom Metal & Metalcore to make an interesting metal hybrid. Their debut album ‘‘So Many Leapers’’ was released in April of 2006. and their second album ‘‘Consequences Of Dreams’’ was released on October 5, 2009. The band has now released their 3rd album, “Netherworld” – the digital version came out on Dec. 19, 2011 and the CD version came out in February2012.”
I don’t know about everyone else, but when I think about heavy metal music, I think drums, heavy guitars and bass, and a lot of screaming. Rarely do we get to be enchanted with a heavy metal album that takes it’s music to farther realms. Incorporating acoustic guitars, keyboards, and vocals that do more than just scream, ‘Netherworld’ goes beyond the normal expectations of most metal albums. In fact, simply calling this album a heavy metal album really doesn’t do it any kind of justice. I would say this album is a mix of metal/progressive/experimental rock and roll, mixed with something that cannot be described, only experienced.
Some of the tracks can be sampled on the AraPacis website, but I would highly encourage metal fans to purchase the entire album, just to get the full experience. Below are 7 videos from the band’s website, giving listeners a chance to see for themselves just how special this album is.
Chronique Des filles et des riffs
Arapacis - Netherworld
Style : metal prog - Note : 15,5/20
Voilà le 3ème album d'Arapacis, groupe canadien officiant dans un genre metal prog influencé par les années 70 et 80. Avec Netherworld, Jerry et sa bande continue sur leur lancée tout en faisant montre d'une belle évolution...
En effet, si leur style progressif se ressent toujours dans les changements de rythmes et les solos typiques du genre, les compositions ont gagné en maturité et en efficacité.En outre, le côté plus extrême et moderne que l'on entrevoyait déjà dans Consequences of dreams est ici exploré plus en profondeur, avec des passages metalcore, doom/stoner ou encore gothic. Le tout est vraiment diversifié, et, je ne sais pas si cela est dû au changement de batteur, plus groovy. Ajoutons également, que la production est bien meilleure que sur le précédent album qui souffrait d'un son un peu trop "brut".
Un des éléments phare d'Arapacis, c'est Lizzie, la chanteuse. Celle-ci avait quitté le groupe un temps, et c'est un plaisir de la voir à nouveau ici, ou plutôt de l'entendre ! Elle évolue dans un registre plutôt bluesy mais sait varier les plaisirs, proposant des growls puissants et gutturaux, des cris aigus plus black metal ou encore une voix douce et lègement hantée dans la jolie balade acoustique Beautifully Blind. Une belle performance !
Voilà donc une évolution extrêmement positive : si le groupe continue ainsi, le 4ème album risque d'être vraiment des plus intéressants ! Netherworld, un album à découvrir !
Turn back time to the year 2011 and experience the Canadian Hard Rock / Heavy Doom Metal ensemble Arapacis dropping their third album 'Netherworld', featuring more of the same beautiful crafted music experienced on their previous album 'Consequences of Dreams', Arapacis prove once again they practice what they preach. Wallowing in the depths of early Doom Metal bands like Black Sabbath and adding a Progressive element to it, resulting in a slow and percussive sound that is thicker than the thickest Canadian syrup ever found. In fact, 'Netherworld' summons a sound so original it is quite surprising why this lot have not exploded over Europe yet. The great thing about 'Netherworld' is that it appeals to a wide range of tastes, from the classic rocking tune of 'Crisis' to the melancholic and chilling sermon 'Lords of the Clouds', 'Netherworld' is a soundtrack of epic proportions.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
Jan 9, 2013
AraPacis – “Netherworld” (2012)
Label : Ravenheart Music
Review by Tony Cannella
The Montreal, Canada based progressive, gothic metal band AraPacis were formed in 2003. In 2006 they released their debut “So Many Leapers” and followed that up in 2009 with “Consequences of Dreams”. On their first two albums they made it clear that they have a wide range of influences. AraPacis returns with their third album. So without further adieu, let’s enter the “Netherworld”.
“End of the Line” kicks things off with an infectious and melodic guitar riff. Lead vocalist Lizzie Fyre alternates between a clean singing voice and an extreme style. She does that just about as well as anyone, it is not a technique that is overused, she only does this on a couple of songs. “Horror Show” is a straight-forward song, based around a simplistic heavy metal riff and the high vocals of Lizzie Fyre. “Lord of the Clouds” is next and it is reminiscent of Swedish doom metallers Candlemass. It’s definitely got a slow, heavy and doomy vibe to it, except for the thrashy part near the end. At 7-minutes, this is the longest song and my favorite. Other highlights: “Unbirth”, the great ballad “Beautifully Blind” and the closing instrumental “Dark Days Ahead”. For the most part, “Netherworld” maintains a good hard rock and metal pace, while also veering off into Gothic, Doom and Progressive territories at times.
I’m not sure where this will stack up compared to their previous material, but “Netherworld” does maintain a level of consistency that their die-hard fan base should love. AraPacis are fast becoming one of the best bands out of the Canadian metal scene.
Rating – 84/100
End of the Line
Lord of the Clouds
Dark Days Ahead
Lizzy Fyre – Vocals
Jerry Fielden – Guitar, Bass, Mandolin & Keyboards
Mathieu Roy – Drums
Released: 2012, Indie
When I was introduced to the band, Arapacis by some industry people, their music really caught my ear. I got in touch and they were nice enough to send me a copy of their album, NETHERWORLD. They are a Metal trio from Quebec and this is actually their third album. The band is on Ravenheart and the band and the label did a good job of presentation. I really like the album cover, the back cover of the little girl playing with the vulture was a nice touch. The production is decent enough and the packaging is not too adventurous but quite satisfactory. The band name is taken from the historical monument and is roughly translated as 'The Bridge Of Peace'.
My immediate impression was that the band have not defined a signature sound. You could pick any three songs at random on the album and they do not sound like the other two. The band covers the gambit of Hard Rock, with the cowbell driven good times of ‘Horror Show’, to the full-on Sabbath inspired doom on the track’ Lord Of The Clouds’ to the more modern thrash/metalcore inspired tune of ‘Beneath Me’. Seriously, this thing is all over the map. It is certainly a very schizophrenic listening experience and NETHERWORLD is far more a collection of very well songs and not a cohesive album by any means.
Fortunately, the band shifts between Metal sub-genres with slippery ease; making the transitions palatable. Each style they try, they do a very good job at writing in that style. The album is also quite atmospheric at times as well. The album ends with a shorter instrumental (mostly) which is acoustic guitar, some slightly chanted (that might not even be the right term) vocals and a gorgeous vocal line by singer Lizzie who demonstrates her soprano-like range. She has a sweet voice that can go from an Angela Gossow-like shriek to the aforementioned soprano at the drop of a hat. She has some pretty phenomenal talent.
Ultimately, NETHERWORLD is a very Metal album. There is lots of guitar, even a bit power Metal-ish in places, some fast songs, some slow songs, some grinders, some rockers, and it all kinda swirls around in this cauldron of brew and when you take a sip you never quite know what you are going to get, but you know it tastes (and sounds) good. It’s a strong album, with loads of character and charisma, and after my initial hesitation, I’ve grown to really enjoy this diverse, and well-executed album.
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