(Ara-Patches) is a female-fronted metal band hailing from Montreal, Canada.
Formed in 2003 by guitarist Jerry Fielden, and fronted by Scots singer Shelle
Macpherson, their main goal is to re-create some of the original aspects of
1970's Hard Rock and Progressive Rock and fuse it together with 21st Century
Prog Metal, Doom Metal & Metalcore to make an interesting metal hybrid.
AraPacis is certainly a band that breaks all barriers, which is why I respect
them. They can incorporate so many different genres into their music but
maintain some order so it does not sound out of place. That speaks volumes for
their artistic souls and creative minds.
Setting the pace is Order of the
Ember Queen with electrifying vocals and heart pounding rhythm. I love the
playful banter between the vocalist and guitar, then the mediator of the
keyboards steps in to keep everything in check. I really appreciate the wide
range of tempos and pitches in the song that keeps your interest throughout the
song while at the same time, when it is over, leaves you wanting more. The
keyboards add a touch of electronica sounds which puts me in the mindset of ELO
but not sounding referential at all, merely a wink to their style.
Have you ever wondered
what would happen if Metal met the Blues? Wonder no longer, AraPacis has
answered that question with Dirty Soap. And it is surprising just how well the
two go together, as well as a testament to the range this band of artists can
create when they put their heart to it. The vocals go from haunting to gritty,
while the guitar goes full on blues. Get to the guitar solo which that genre is
known for and you all of sudden find yourself wanting to sit back in your chair
while sipping some whiskey, thinking of days gone by.
At the beginning I
said you would be on an adventure of musical genres with this album, and I was
not lying. Propaganda Messiah has to be the most interesting example of this,
with a mix of Death Metal and Beatnik style. You have the growling snarl of
vocals then changing into an almost operatic style, not to be outdone by the
guitars and drums which follow suit with the changing of styles. This song plays
with your mind and ears in a delightful way because you don’t know what to
expect next, which is sometimes just what we need in our lives.
If I had to choose a favorite song, which is really hard for me to do, I would
have to say it is Spearhead. The vocals are spot on and the lyrics are powerful.
It has a nice blend of hard rock and old school metal. It is a song that lingers
in your mind and you will start singing in random places. Plus, I thoroughly
enjoy the vocal range in this song in particular, often times vocalists will get
in a rut and sing the same style to keep the album cohesive. They show you can
have cohesion with variety. The rhythm of the drums and guitars are understated
but definitely not out shined, they are just adding their own flair in their own
If someone asked me to describe AraPacis and Paradox Of
Denial in one word, I simply could not do it. That would be doing such a
disservice to their unique style and the way they create music with such
reckless abandonment. Their artistry is something you must experience for
yourself and once you do, you will no longer see music in set terms and rules.
You will see it as an organic creation from free spirited souls that just create
music from their hearts and with their combined passion.
Montreal’s AraPacis’ Paradox Of Denial is
a seven-track release in a long line of releases by this band
that bring several hard styles of rock together, including prog
and darker forms of rock and female fronted metal. This very
interesting and long running outfit have done some remarkable
things with guest artists playing on their albums over the
years, including keyboard wizard Don Airey of Deep Purple. This
latest release includes none other than David Stone on one of
the tracks. He’s best known as a keyboard player who has been
part of bands like Symphonic Slam, Max Webster and Ritchie
Blackmore’s Rainbow. Stone is playing live these days on a
regular basis and he’s in fine form out there, and this band are
the first to have him on a studio recording in many years.
This review is available in book format
(hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019
Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Order Of The Ember Queen
The first thing you notice is how well the
production shines through, and the vocals of Michelle
Macpherson are perfectly mixed with the rest of the arrangement.
They waste no time getting into things with an early keyboard
solo from David Stone in which he shines to the max. Being a big
fan of his, it’s great to hear him after so long. The song is an
over the top number that competes with the best of what AraPacis
have to offer. No question about it, this is awesome.
Guitarist Jerry Fielden goes into a ZZ Top blues
shuffle on this, and it is an immediate surprise if you know his
work. In fact, the lyrics even mention surprises, and it is one
of their most accessible tracks in every department. It’s phat,
crunchy and indie sounding with just the right amount of grit
and even some pop sensibilities to it.
Propaganda Messiah This is where things get crazy with
the vocals hearkening back to more of what this band are usually
known for. The vocals do bring some other elements as the song
wears on, keeping it slightly pretty around the ugliness of the
subject matter in which it completely fits. If you know this
band, you’ll definitely-appreciate this.
Dirty Soap This is another point where the guitar is
very bluesy, and the band very strong behind it. This also
includes what is probably the best vocal performance on the
album for those who like her voice this way. This is so slinky
and laid back that it’s absolutely-mesmerizing and hypnotizing.
What a killer little gem this is with some fantastic guitar
The Devil’s Prince Along with the opening track, this
is probably one of the most epic numbers on the disc. Both
of-the songs are on equal levels and can’t be denied as the opus
tracks on this release. This is great rock ‘n roll no matter how
you slice it. Any song about satanic creatures roaming the earth
has its values in the marketplace.
Spearhead This is a story about the profits of doom,
which by now speaks largely for itself. The lyrics drive
everything home here for anyone into resisting the fascist
figures of society, and this song covers that subject very well.
This is also where the messages in the lyrics cut through the
Paradox of Denial The final piece is the title track,
and it begins with some Keith Emerson style keyboard playing. It
goes into a cool whispering vocal and some almost Indian style
percussion before it picks up and goes into a Black Sabbath
style guitar. It even gets black metal oriented on the vocals.
It includes another change up in the mid-section before the
guitar solo calls to mind players like Steve Morse and Tony
Iommi. With those references in the same song, it’s just a wild
combo if I ever heard one. The arrangement is also spiced up
with strings to make it the amazing show of progressive rock it
Royaume du métalavait des maîtres et des serviteurs de
classe. Ici même au Québec avec Voivod, Anonymus et Neuraxis. Mais mon Royaume
accueille un nouveau membre qui s’ajoute : AraPacis. La voix de Shelle
Macpherson rappelle celle de Lacuna Coil. La beauté de son timbre de voix
combine le chant mélodique et lescream(Propaganda
Messiah) en est une forte démonstration.
AraPacis est aussile
souffle et la guitare de Jerry Fielden. Explorateur doué pour le Blues
Soap), il dépeint en un rien de temps d’étranges fantasmagories.
Comment dépeindre Paradox of Denial? La carte des contrastes… Décrire le paysage
de notre société avec des lignes de guitare omniprésentes suivis de
développements méditatifs. Les effets de claviers à la Emerson Lake and Palmer.
Tout cela me séduit parce qu’il y a ce que j’appelle le métal progressif avec le
spectre du métal extrême. La voix de Shelle Macpherson me semble
multidimensionnelle, comme si elle avait 2 ou 3 registres dans la même chanson.
Princec’est Jerry Fielden qui étonne (le chanceux qui a déjà
Marinoet joué aux côtés de Vince Marino de Mahogany Rush)
Curieusement, il n’y a jamais de longueurs. Le chant théâtral y est pour
beaucoup. Parfois on reste dérouté, surpris, sans mot. Comment être aussi
intense sans tomber dans la caricature. Je pense aussi que les fans deCradle
of Filthpourrait y trouver leur compte. Une impression comme
ça. J’insiste aussi sur l’énergie brute des compositions. La production est
irréprochable, le son puissant, les arrangements somptueux. L’aspect prog et le
coté obscur sont bien illustrés dans la pièce-titre. Comme si ce n’était pas
suffisant (guitare acoustique et électrique, tablas, alto, violoncelle, harpe
celtique et synthétiseur) apparaissent tour à tourcomme
un feu d’artifices. À la fin du morceau épique, la guitare puis les
claviers qui merappellent
le meilleur d’ELP. Honnêtement je ne me lasse pas d’écouter cet album.
L’imagination fait place à un sentiment de plénitude. Comment fait-on pour jouer
sur plusieurs registres tout en étant original et moderne? Comment rester humble
en étant un artiste (un band) original? Comment élaborer un tel générique? Des
invités qui s’ajoutent comme David Stone (claviers, Rainbow et Max Webster),
Lorrie Snyder (Montreal Blues),Steph
Honde de Di Anno (oui, l’ex-Iron Maiden)… AraPacis ressemble à un poème
de René Char.Il
semble que l’on connait toujours à mi-chemin du commencement et de la fin du
monde. Nous grandissons en révolte ouverte.
Je vous ai présenté ma façon de voir le groupe et j’ai la prétention de vous
dire qu’ils ontles
clés du Royaume du Métal…9,5
Notes de l’auteur Pour plus de détails, consultez les sites ;Arapacis.comouarapacismtl.bandcamp.com.
Je tiens à remercierJunior
Picardpour ses précieux conseils. Finalement, le poème
cité est de René Char, Les Matinaux, NRF Gallimard.
BANNIÈRE: THOMAS O SULLIVAN
WEBMESTRE: STEVEN HENRY
RÉDAC’CHEF: MURIEL MASSÉ
ÉDITEUR: GÉO GIGUÈRE
Author Harrie de Haas Updated on
September 9, 2019 Categories Reviews ARAPACIS – “PARADOX OF DENIAL” (2019)
Review by Harrie de Haas
Denial” (release date August 19th) is the 7th full length album of the Canadian
band “AraPacis”. “AraPacis” is a female-fronted metal band hailing from
Montreal, Canada. Formed in 2003 by guitarist Jerry Fielden, and fronted by
Scots singer Shelle Macpherson, their main goal is to “re-create some of the
original aspects of 1970’s Hard Rock and Progressive Rock and fuse it together
with 21st Century Prog Metal, Doom Metal & Metalcore to make an interesting
metal hybrid. And looking at the personal influences of the band members you can
imagine there are is a lot of music from the 1970’s Hard Rock in their music.
Aldo Jerry is a multi-instrumentalist (guitars, synths, mandolin, bass and
drums), they had the help of a lot of friends on “Paradox Of Denial”. I will
tell you later who they are.
With all the different influences they have
it’s hard to start listening to an album like this. Is it really a Hard Rock
album or is it more metal hybrid as they call it? The only way to find out is to
listen to the album and hear what they have made of it. So, I did and I can tell
you that I didn’t expect an album like this. The album contains 7 tracks and
they are all totally different, I think. They used a lot of different styles and
that shows the versatility of “AraPacis”.
The first track on the album is
“Order Of The Ember Queen”. It starts as an old school hard Rock classic. I even
thought in the beginning I was listening to a “Black Sabbath” song with a female
Ozzy. But when the keyboards got in it could be Deep Purple you’re listening to.
But it’s just a wonderful Hard Rock track with a lot of varieties in it.
“Pressure Cooker” sounds complete different, it’s a track with a lot of blues in
it. “Propaganda Messiah” let’s hear us a growling Shelle. Most of the track is
pure dark metal but with a few intermezzo’s with go from dark to opera. But I
have to admit that’s not the best part of song. “Dirty Soap” is a jazzy number,
not my kind of music, but it shows again what this band is capable of. I can
enjoy “The Devil’s Prince”, it’s going a bit rougher again. A song where music
and voice match wonderful. A bit psychedelic, but wonderful to listen to. And
back to the simplicity of rock with “Spearhead”, a song in which I recognize a
band as “Accept”. The last track of this album, the title track of the album
“Paradox Of Denial”, is the longest one (9.46). A real nice ending of the album,
I think. Maybe a little bit too long but it suits wonderful. “Paradox Of Denial”
is an album with a lot of different faces. But it shows us how versatile this
band is. Both Shelle and Jerry did a great job on this album and showed us that
there are lots of opportunities to make an album with different styles of music.
The music is extremely well cared for and I can say the same about the lyrics.
And this all together with the voice of Shelle, it’s an album that perfectly
fits in the album collection of everyone who likes Hard Rock.
Order Of The Ember Queen Pressure Cooker
Propaganda Messiah Dirty Soap The Devil’s Prince Spearhead Paradox
of Denial Line Up:
Honde – lead guitar in “Paradox Of Denial” Mark Focarile – synth lead in
“Paradox Of Denial” Dwane Dixon – lead guitar in “Dirty Soap” Gillan
Macpherson-Briggs – back vocals in “Spearhead” Philippe Mius D’Entremont –
cello in “Paradox Of Denial” Gwendoline Krasnicki – viola in “Paradox Of
Denail” Kayla Dixon – lead vocals first verse and back vocals on rest in
“Dirty Soap” Lorrie Snyder – scat jazz vocals in “Propagandha Messiah”
David Stone – keyboards in “Order Of The Ember Queen” Links:
Arapacis : “Paradox Denial” CD July 2019 Black House
Arapacis: “Paradox Denial” CD July 2019 Black
House Records. Canada Rock / Heavy / Blues band. As usual it is hard to
define what genre this album will fit in asJerry
Fieldenlikes to mix up different styles to
express is feelings. Always having his wifeShelle
Macphersonon the vocals, and now their son on
one song. The couple always creating special compositions that can be
recognized by the style those two ones are putting into all of their albums.
They have their own style even if they are allowing other musicians to
participate to their music.
Their univers is just a mixture of music that speaks to everyone. The
guitars inspired by the great legends , the raw voices jumping to melodies
made an album that can be called an evolution of all their efforts since
they started. This new album is having a piece of each of their previous
efforts getting it a mature approach to perfection.
Each song has a special sound reminding many decades of music from the
seventies to the eighties… A brilliant cover artwork and photos in the
leaflet. By listening to this album you will enter in another dimension,Arapacisone!
If you are an avid fan then you know where you’re going to.
Influences varies fromThe
Runaways, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Beck, Steve Ray Vaughan,…it
is has no limits ! You will find your like through this piece of art.
David Stone(Rainbow/Max Webster) on song 1 keyboards
Lorrie Snyder(Montreal Blues/Jazz singer) on song 3
scat jazz vocals
Dwane Dixon(Montreal bluesman) on song 4 lead guitar
Kayla Dixon( Witch Mountain/Dress the Dead) on song 6
lead vocals first verse and back vocals on rest
Gillan Macpherson-Briggs(our 8-year old son) on song
6 back vocals
Steph Honde(Di’Anno/Hollywood Monsters) on song 7
Mark Focarile(Mile Marker Zero )on song 7 synth lead
Philippe Mius D’Entremont(Montreal cellist) on
song 7 cello
Gwendolyne Krasnicki(Montreal violist) on song 7
Seven songs with great solos, heavy pounding tunes and a groovy feel.
“Pressure Cooker” , “The Devil’s Prince” , “Spearhead” , “Paradox of
Denial” all songs have a special mood and will get to you easily.
Have a taste:
Recorded and mastered by the couple , they once again prove you can make
great albums with the will to. We also can thank them for sharing their
vision with great musicians they have as guest on this album. A must have
2003, by guitarist Jerry Fielden, Arapacis is a female fronted metal band,
from Montréal, Canada. Scots vocalist Shelle Macpherson fronts. Jerry also
features on bass, drums, drum programming, synths and mandolin. The ethos of
the band is to emulate certain elements of 1970’s hard rock and prog rock
and combine it with 21st-century prog, doom and metal, creating an
intriguing hybrid. They succeed in doing just this. Especially with this new
previously played alongside the likes of Blaze Bayley, Uli John Roth, Anvil,
Raven, The Agonist, Doro and more. 2006 saw the 1st of their many releases,
‘So Many Leapers’. The next album, ‘Consequences Of Dreams’, launched in
2009 and their 3rd, ‘Netherworld’, came out digitally, in 2011 and on CD in
2012. ‘Déjà-vu’, a remix EP of older material, appeared in 2013, followed by
4th album, ‘A Disturbing Awakening’ (2014), ‘System Deceiver’ (2016),
‘Obsolete Continuum’ (2018) and the most recent production, is their other
EP collection of older tracks, entitled ‘Deja Doom’, also in 2018, on
To date, a
selection of guest contributors have featured on their albums, including:
Guy Leblanc (RIP) of Carmel and Nathan Mahl, Steph Honde of Di’ Anno and
Hollywood Monsters, Don Airey, of Deep Purple, Rainbow, Jethro Tull etc,
Vinnie Appice, of Black Sabbath, Dio, David Stone, of Rainbow and Max
Webster and John Gallagher, of Raven, etc. This, their 7 track 7th album,
‘Paradox Of Denial’, is released August 2019.
The Ember Queen – Introing with a very bluesy groove, with a strong folky
element, conveyed in a heavy vocal. Straight away, there’s a powerful catch
to it and a slight early psychedelia echo, playing around with a hint of
sci-fi. Loving those sharp feminine vocals! A clear edge of punk attitude
shows through them and 3/4 in, you’ll hear some inventive riffs. It’s a very
fulsome track, with plenty of percussion elements. Breathing through the
space, before the end, there’s a very refreshing tinge to this.
Cooker – Opening on a gorgeously sexy deep heavy blues riff, it’s addictive,
from the off. Vocals combining lilting Kate Bush styles, with strong punk
and groove. Tons of character to this. Again, some great riffage and a
strong southern rock beat. It’s a brilliant combo of vocal acuity and solid
instrumentals, almost sludgy, in their tone and emphasis. Just a fresh,
Messiah – Starting off on a slight slide riff, now the vocals move into
death growl territory. Suddenly alternating that with more sharpened tones
again, further emphasising the depth of the accompaniments. Shifting up the
scales now, taking it into lighter arenas, showcasing the riff mastery.
Definitely a notable edge to those blackened sections, on which, it closes.
– Drums opening, with a solid, inherently sensuous blues riff. Honestly, you
could just climb inside that riff. Those fabulously high-pitched vocals
return, complemented perfectly by the beautifully melodic riffage, with
which, they’re in sync. This here is some heavy duty chemistry and a rare
type, at that. Still, injecting a few more ragged edges, just adding magic
and ending on a gloriously indulgent laugh, while the riff slides out,
Devil’s Prince – Heavy combo of drums and riffs intro’s, getting right into
its stride and showcasing the blues, in traditional fashion. The Whitesnake
influence is well audible here. This time, the vocals fade into the
background, in places, displaying a softer side. Next, a descending tower of
riff scales does its thing, before returning to more of a slide emphasis.
Lots of clear cymbal action, too. The timing’s exquisitely good, showing
natural flow. Vocals emitting a final darkened shriek, before the sound
takes us elsewhere, to a looser, more laid-back arrangement, altogether, yet
still reflecting a few tighter riffs, as it fades out.
– Solid riff and drum beat opens. Instantly catchy melody, this time, with a
second female vocalist joining the first. More of a vocal emphasis here,
with a slightly simpler accompaniment, but still exploding into colourful
flashes of light, here and there. It’s just so plausibly performed, with
almost palpable conviction. Razor-tipped vocals give it so much flavour and
it ends on a lightly sinister riff.
Denial – Wow! Fabulously exotic intro! Real instrumental quality. Whispered
vocals adding to the intrigue, before segueing into singing, in those
incredibly heightened tones. The blacker aspect interweaves them again, as
the deep, down tuned, stoner-type accompaniments do their thing. Gradually
moving into much softer landscapes, with a mystical edge, before taking it
back up to solid, floor dropping stuff, once more. It’s a real interplay of
conflicting styles. Coming together, in a show of multicoloured sounds, at
– Impressive stuff. ‘POD’ is Arapacis’s best album yet. It’s solid, with an
intuitive grasp of expression and it’s altogether heavier than before, yet
still leaves room for lighter sections, where necessary. Vocally, there’s a
real standout quality and generally, a great blend of depth and light. The
feel for the groove is immense and the blues aspect shines out. A remarkable
album, both unique and classic, in delivery.
of Whitesnake, Voodoo Blood, Kate Bush, Muddy Moonshine, Electric Wizard.
and mixed by Jerry Fielden. Mastered
by BandLab Produced by Jerry Fielden
and Shelle Macpherson Production
Assistance – Jenny Haan (Spearhead)
– Michael Lee Jackson Background Pics
– courtesy of NASA Layout – Jerry
guests: David Stone (Rainbow)/Max
Webster – track 1 – keyboards, Lorrie Snyder (Montréal blues/jazz singer) –
track 3 – scat jazz vocals, Dwane Dixon (Montréal Blues man) – track 4
– lead guitar, Gillan Macpherson-Briggs (JF and SM’s 8 year old son) – track
6 – backing vocals, Kayla Dixon (Witch Mountain/Dress The Dead) – track 6 –
lead vocals, 1st verse and backing vocals, on rest, Steph Honde (Di’
Anno/Hollywood Monsters) – track 7 – lead guitar, Mark Focarile (Mile Marker
Zero) – track 7 – synth lead, Philippe Mius D’ Entremont (Montréal cellist)
– track 7 – cello, Gwendolyne Krasnicki (Montréal violinist) – track 7
Canadian Rockers Ara Pacis return with “Paradox of Denial" An eclectic mix
of Hard Rocking Progressive Metal with many exciting twists and turns as you
journey through this seven-track monster.
The Album gets under way with the cracking “Order of The Queen” and you
start to feel like you are being taken on a majestic journey as AraPacis mix
it up on this opener with an appearance from Rainbows David Stone it sure
whets your appetite for whats to follow as “Pressure Cooker” has a
downtrodden Bluesy effect and sees the super talented Shelle Macpherson
stretching her Vocal chords as Jerry Fielden lets loose some killer riffs
this is a pure master piece with its down and dirty grooves, love it and one
of my favourite tracks alongside the next track “Propaganda Messiah” a
progressive Metal piece that astounds you with its grunge fuelled opening
that then breaks into something astounding as the track progresses surprises
and enthrals one with the growls from the pits of hell from Macpherson that
then turns into a short operatic piece, with a bit of Jazz fusion all mixed
together it works and is really different and leaves this reviewer open
mouthed.. like... WOW! A song I have gone back to constantly!
Next you feel like ya sitting on the stoop drinking a beer on the bayou as
the Bluesy “Dirty Soap” floats out of your speakers a track to wash away
your sins, its quite unique and as the song progresses you really will be
amazed. “Devil Prince” is full of infectious grooves and again continues to
show case Shelle Macphersons talents as the band battle a prince of
the Devil. Kayla Dixon from Witch Mountain features on the excellent
“Spearhead” a song about the state of todays world with no privacy, corrupt
leaders and evil that seems to be infecting our lands, this is an
intelligent and telling piece with some tasty musicianship entwined with
By Seb Di Gatto
Canadian Rockers Ara Pacis return with “Paradox of Denial" An eclectic
mix of Hard Rocking Progressive Metal with many exciting twists and
turns as you journey through this seven-track monster.
The Album gets under way with the cracking “Order of The Queen” and you
start to feel like you are being taken on a majestic journey as AraPacis
mix it up on this opener with an appearance from Rainbows David Stone it
sure whets your appetite for whats to follow as “Pressure Cooker” has a
downtrodden Bluesy effect and sees the super talented Shelle Macpherson
stretching her Vocal chords as Jerry Fielden lets loose some killer
riffs this is a pure master piece with its down and dirty grooves, love
it and one of my favourite tracks alongside the next track “Propaganda
Messiah” a progressive Metal piece that astounds you with its grunge
fuelled opening that then breaks into something astounding as the track
progresses surprises and enthrals one with the growls from the pits of
hell from Macpherson that then turns into a short operatic piece, with a
bit of Jazz fusion all mixed together it works and is really different
and leaves this reviewer open mouthed.. like... WOW! A song I have gone
back to constantly!
Next you feel like ya sitting on the stoop drinking a beer on the bayou
as the Bluesy “Dirty Soap” floats out of your speakers a track to wash
away your sins, its quite unique and as the song progresses you really
will be amazed. “Devil Prince” is full of infectious grooves and again
continues to show case Shelle Macphersons talents as the band battle
a prince of the Devil. Kayla Dixon from Witch Mountain features on the
excellent “Spearhead” a song about the state of todays world with no
privacy, corrupt leaders and evil that seems to be infecting our lands,
this is an intelligent and telling piece with some tasty musicianship
entwined with devilish growls.
Final track “Paradox of Denial” has you floating on a magic carpet of
hard rocking delights with the bonus of appearances from Mark Focarile
(Mile Marker Zero) and Steph Honde (Hollywood Monsters) it’s a steller
end to an Awesome platter!
So, to sum up:
This is an Album featuring many guests and truly is a work of art and a
must have in your Record / Download collection. I love how Metal is
constantly evolving and "Paradox of Denial" has to be up with one of the
releases of the year, its a work of art..
Talking of art, the coverwas
designed by Ian Gillans Guitarist Michael Lee Jackson!