Reviews of System Deceive
Blackphoenix review of System Deceive
ARAPACIS - 'System Deceive'
(Album, 2016) Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:30 am
ARAPACIS, are a female fronted Hard Rock / Progressive / Doom / Classic Rock band from Montreal, Canada.
ARAPACIS Album line up ....
SHELLE MACPHERSON, LEAD VOCALS.
JERRY FIELDEN, LEAD GUITAR, BACKING VOCALS, MANDOLIN, BASS, SYNTHESIZERS.
JOHN GALLAGHER, BASS, ARRANGEMENTS.
MARC RETSON, DRUMS.
ISANIELLE ENRIGHT, BACKING VOCALS, 1, 3,7.
STEPH HONDE, LEAD GUITAR, 2.
JD SLIM, RHYTHM GUITAR, 2ND LEAD GUITAR BREAK, 5.
RICK L. BLUES, BLUES HARP, 5.
MEL LECLERC, SAXOPHONE, 6.
DAVID MCGREGOR, MALE VOCALS, 7.
TOM 'THODREKR' GUEVARA, MALE GROWLS, 7.
RACHAEL BEAVER, CELLO, ARRANGEMENTS, 8.
1. SYSTEM DECEIVE - The title track, and what a cracking opener it is. We are subjected to a thunderous, heavy beat that has an old school hard rock flavour, Shelle produces some drawling, gutsy vocals that are at times nasty in texture and tone. Top notch guitar shredding that cuts with a razor sharp edge. There is a milder middle section with some lovely, dreamy guitar work and a progressive vibe, very pleasant indeed. A stupendous opening number that is heavy and dark whilst twisting and turning with ease. Top notch construction and arrangements giving you lots to absorb and discover.
RUNNING TIME: - 5.36 MINS.
2. STREETS OF ANGER - A slower paced hard rocker with a classic vibe on offer here, doomy and eerie that snakes its way along. Shelle is on fine form with some alluring, enticing vocals that at times have a spooky feel to the tone as she takes you further into the song. The melodic flavoured guitar work and lead solos bring back that 70s hard rock aura while the track maintains a progressive edge. The number is well put together and casts dark shadows around as it rocks along with a groovy vibe. A slumbering giant of a track.
RUNNING TIME: - 5.12 MINS.
3. EXTINCTION - What is on offer here is another battering ram to the senses. A doom laden number that is dark and full of nightmarish blackness that delivers in grand style on all fronts. Shelle snarls and spits with underlying nastiness one minute and screams like a banshee the next, using her vocal range and tones to great effect. The number maintains a progressive feel giving the track another substance to enjoy. The lead guitar work from Jerry is top class, nice bit of shredding that is sharp as a razor. The slow tempo drags you along to some dark abyss as it buries itself firmly in your mind . Powerful stuff with a great, fuzzy rock beat. Turn off the lights, if you dare!!
RUNNING TIME: - 4.58 MINS.
4. TRESPASSER - Ignition on and pedal to the metal from the word go. A bright and breezy, rapid fire number that accelerates along with some speed. A little nod to Deep Purple in style and context in this rocking number. Shelle has a unique and interesting quality to her vocals that have a varied range and pitch that is effective. Superb backing vocals and excellent guitar solos from Jerry are very enjoyable indeed. Classy headbanging stuff that explodes with vigour, well arranged with everything melting together in harmony as you are hurtled along to the end. A top out and out classic rock monster.
RUNNING TIME: - 3.52 MINS.
5. LADY LONELY BLUES - What we have here is a downright dirty blues number that creates a perfect smokey atmosphere. The guitar work is excellent and gives off that bluesy vibe. I'd really like to know how Shelle produces those textures to her vocal range, sultry, sexy and gutsy all combined together and working perfectly to bring this number to life. The addition of the blues harp brings another ingredient into the mix. The whole number cries out to you, as it sways too and fro with a tantalizing swagger. Very absorbing, a highly enjoyable track indeed.
RUNNING TIME: - 4.28 MINS.
6. ENGINES OF DESPAIR - Now we head into a different dimension with this number which displays a darker vibe and a aura of menace. A gentle start with some luscious guitar work and a great, deep 70s flavoured bass sets the scene. Shelle's vocals alternate between an almost childlike quality to deeper harsher tones all adding to the strange complexity of the track. Progressive touches and an underlying industrial current take you along with the flow, a journey that has lots of twists and turns, different unknown passages with everything welding together to create an enticing and absorbing atmosphere. Throbbing bass licks, top notch guitar solos and some great sax playing all combine to turn this track up a notch or two, adding to the interest and appeal of this number. Grand stuff indeed that gets right under your skin and into your system.
RUNNING TIME: - 5.22 MINS.
7. LABYRINTH - A crazy track that is nasty and heavy with plenty of hidden depths to unravel and immerse yourself into. A tremendous hard rock beat pounds its way deep into your skull and tantalizes your brain cells. The addition of the clean guest male vocals and snarling growls are a welcome element to the proceedings, working perfectly in unison with Shelle's vocal tones. The whole affair comes across like a dark Grimms fairytale, nothing delicate in this enticing and tempting onslaught. The guitar solos are a dream, the combined vocals rise above the mayhem with ease and shine as the track suffocates you with its moments of madness. Some synthesizers add an extra texture to the mix for you to enjoy. A very difficult track to describe, perfectly arranged and executed in a grand fashion. A labyrinth of dark desires that goes for the jugular with a relish.
RUNNING TIME: - 6.55 MINS.
8. THE UNKNOWN - This is a strange one indeed to bring the album to a close. An Instrumental piece showcasing and devoted to the cello. Rachael is a top class cello player, delivering a very high quality emotional piece of work that is full of feeling. It has a folky feel in places and the whole experience is a joy as she takes you on a fantastic journey with plenty of twists and turns. The brightness and feelings waft over you with a very pleasant aura, backed by just a gentle twanging guitar and hand drums, bongos or the like. Classical notes are intertwined in this dreamy and beautiful arrangement, what a different way to bring the curtain down on this albums performance.
RUNNING TIME: - 4.44 MINS.
What we have here is another classy album from ARAPACIS, their 5th and as usual is what we expect from this band, never afraid to experiment and take risks using a varied range of styles and excellent guests. The band still keeps its 70s hard rock feel mixed with modern twists and a progressive element. They are one of the few bands around that manage to pull this off in style. The guests on this album do a fine job and really add that extra colour and compliment the tracks. But for me personally, the jury is out on the last number 'The Unknown', nothing wrong with the composition and Rachael is a top class cello player and it shows on this classy track, what I can't make my mind up about, does a track more or less devoted to an instrumental by a cello, belong on this sort of album ?? I am not so sure, although it certainly grows on you in a wonderful way, it certainly is a strange addition to the overall feel of the album. But hey that is just my personal view, saying that I really love the album. Another brave effort from an excellent band , roll on album number 6. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED LISTENING ..... 9.5/10
femmepower @ BlackPhoenixRising
Photos courtesy of Miriam Francoeur and Yanique Fillion.
For more info on ARAPACIS check out the following sites/links.
The Metal Mag review of System Deceive
Arapacis:"System Deceive" CD 2016 Note Musik. Canada Heavy Metal band. Jerry and his wife have another project with that new album which mixes melodies and rocking tunes. The cover has a kind of ship room where all the dissidents have desappeared and the human beeing is trapped into the machine. Songs titles are about the society that fails,a rough voice is sometimes coming like a computer talking. As usual many guests from JOhn Gallagher, Mel Lecerlc,Steph Honde, etc...it brings a special atmosphere to the music, which can be sometimes deep, sometimes very melodic with a beautiful solos and always those nice voice melodies. The song 'Trepasser' is groovy and will make you wanna dance. One special blues song...the album is once more full of changes and you need to feel the message 90/100
Metallian review of System Deceive
ARAPACIS – SYSTEM DECEIVE
Canada’s hard working Arapacis is back with a new record and there is much to absorb. Listening to the record allows this writer to not only offer Metallian readers a review, but to also explain why this band will not make it. The band and readers will feel down at best and be mad at worst, but let it not be said Metallian is another one of those run-of-the-mill hypocritical commercial rags.
It is so obvious that these guys (really one Jerry Fielden) have worked hard on the record. From the hard rocking opener title track with the lush mid-section to the quiet Streets of Anger, whose title must be ironic, to the cryptic and doomy Extinction to the old school NWOBHM Trespasser (which is a personal favourite) to the you-can-guess-the-style Lady Lonely Blues to the progressive Engines Of Despair, whose title defines capitalism to a T, and on this band refuses to stand still or adhere to one style. This is where a fan cannot clutch on to a certain vaunted style and make the band his or her own. Kudos to the band for doing what it wishes to, but it must be understood that this comes at a cost and the band will pay in terms of popularity.
A couple of other notes: the sound is occasionally amazing and, especially so for an independent effort. Finally, glancing at the intimate photo of the two permanent members in the booklet makes one wonder why other bands do not follow the same style in their official band photographs. Let’s see members of Judas Priest or Slayer or, heck, Cannibal Corpse embrace for their photo in the same way. Ignore the last quip and head over to http://www.arapacis.com. - Ali “The Metallian”
Voir critique par Yanick Klimbo Tremblay
Duo montréalais, Arapacis doit s’entourer d’autres musiciens lorsque vient le temps de préparer un album. Sur System Deceive, nous retrouvons une panoplie d’invités dont John Gallagher de Raven à la basse et Steph Honde à la guitare. Mené par Jerry Fielden aux guitares et Shelle Macpherson à la voix, ce couple propose un hard rock pimpant aux allures de rock progressif.
Sur ce cinquième album, Arapacis laisse germer de bonnes idées en ce qui concerne les compostions plus hard rock, surtout lorsque Macpherson utilise sa facette vocale plus susurrée. Lorsque la grogne s’empare de sa voix, les chansons prennent un nouveau détour qui se veut inattendu, ce qui peut déstabiliser l’auditeur qui désirait se régaler de hard rock aux teintes classiques. C’est ce qui arrive sur System Deceive, Extinction ou Engines of Despair alors que son timbre plus acidulé prend une certaine place, question de créer une fracture sonore.
Étrangement, c’est lorsque le groupe n’est pas en mode hard rock que le tout devient vraiment lucratif. Par exemple, le morceau plus bluesé Lady Lonely Blues se veut chaleureux avec son harmonica mais c’est surtout l’instrumentale The Unknown qui clôture bien l’album avec sa touche classique et folk.
Production honnête sans être novatrice, Arapacis peut se vanter de jouer un hard rock passionné, qui reste bien ancré dans le passé tout en poussant vers le modernisme.