Review 971 : Aephanemer – A Dream of Wilderness – English

It’s already time for Aephanemer’s third album!

Created in 2013 in France by Martin Hamiche (guitar, ex-Univertigo), the band releases a first EP before hiring musicians. It’s with Marion Bascoul (guitar/vocals), Mickaël Bonnevialle (drums, Simeria) and Lucie Woaye Hune (bass) that the band offers us A Dream of Wilderness in 2021 with Napalm Records.

The album begins with Land of Hope, a quite soft introduction which slowly increases to unveil epic tones before Antigone, a very hooking composition, comes. Piercing leads immediately involve us into the band’s universe, darkened by the vocalist’s howlings. The contrast between unchained fury and the riffs’ beauty is seizing, just like the worrying sound on Of Volition. Whether the introduction stays quite calm, riffs gets energized while unveiling majestic parts to coat this rage, then Le Radeau de La Méduse will tell us the story of this tragic painting we all watched at least once. Vocals are shared between visceral screams and lyrical voice, offering an essential complementarity to this epic and tortured song, then Roots and Leaves enchant us before raw strength comes over. Catchy Power Metal shades come to be melted to the abrasive Melodic Death Metal basis, but once again keyboards carry us to a soaring atmosphere before an impressive final on piano, followed by Vague à l’âme, a weighing but heady interlude. Strider follows with melancholic leads, accompanied by heavy rhythmic and motivating vocals, feeding once again the seizing contrast before a bright break throws us to other places. Riffs are back to crush us, in company of soaring melodies, then Pantha Rei makes revive the burning rage the band perfectly knows to develop. Between powerful riffs, dark vocals and the break, the song offers what the band does best before A Dream of Wilderness, the eponymous song. We feel majestic ambiences are pushed to their limit on this song, but it also becomes more impressive and darker, then the epic final leaves us with Old French Song, an instrumental cover of the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It’s useless to say that melodies are strengthened by the rhythmic and keyboards, creating an incredible modern track.

The luckiest ones could also hear a French version of the song Le Radeau de La Méduse, increasing the band’s dedication for its motherland. The fact they use French language isn’t disturbing at all, and French speakers will easily recognize lyrics, even giving the song an additional raw charm. The second disc has instrumental versions of seven songs, proving they have nothing to envy to current or older masters of composition. And they also allow to unveil elements we could have missed at first, so don’t neglect them!

Despite being quite young, Aephanemer has an impressive maturity. A Dream of Wilderness is an incredibly rich, seizing and melodic album, which clearly offers us the best of the band’s roots, while creating an unique universe.


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