Having left the Canadian metal scene breathless with their arrival earlier this year, Ontario quintet The Afterimage is set to do the same in the UK and Europe with the release of their debut EP Formless. It is a monster of an introduction; four tracks which as well as making an impressive initial engagement paves the way for a high anticipation towards their debut album next year.
Formed in the final weeks of 2011, The Afterimage consists of vocalist Kyle Anderson, guitarist Alex Lappano, bassist Dallas Bricker, drummer Nick McCaslin, and second guitarist Mike Ticar who joined the Barrie band after the EP was recorded. The band creates a sound which is best described as progressive/post hardcore but with plenty of djent/technical persuasion and imaginative endeavours. There is a similarity to the likes of Meshuggah, Ion Dissonance, and The Faceless but also a fresh and unpredictable invention which you could say seeds from the likes of The Mars Volta or Between The Buried And Me, all you really need to know is it will leave you gasping for air as it did our Canadian brothers and sisters.
Released via Ghost Music, the EP opens with the instrumental Prologue, a piece of shimmering crystalline waters heated by melodic scorching from the guitars and rhythmic shadows. It loudly whispers at what is to follow without giving to much away but immediately one can hear and feel the intent of the band whilst basking in the warm undertow of the track.
The new single from the release Reverie, follows taking its prompt from the first piece and expanding it into an imagination capturing confrontation. Initially it is an accomplished and straightforward engagement, the guitars teasing notes and melodies, rhythms stamping their authority, and the grizzled growls of Anderson wrapping each syllable in a heavy intent. Soon though everything explodes, sonics going haywire as the guitars manipulate notes with a maniacal mastery whilst still holding the form and intensity of the track. Moments border on jazz, improv, and chaos and it is glorious, the control of the band in keeping everything tight yet loose astounding; synapses might be sizzling at this point and losing composure but no such doubts with the song.
The thunderous Shallows exploits any still uncompromised emotions and feelings next, its corruptive oppressive weight showing the band can violate as easily as they ignite the passions, though they are doing both with the track. Well into its assault, the track showers the ear with spotlights of melodic elegance and infectious kisses though it is still bearing down hard on the senses and devouring their resistance. Leering grooves and disorientating spears of sonic mastery are unafraid to add their ingenious presences to the glorious onslaught of corrosive ideas and sounds, leaving one bruised and delirious in their wake, if also slightly dazed.
The release closes with The Void, another continually evolving soundscape of creative irreverence and brilliance fuelled by sonic violations and melodic interventions all twisted and mutated into something solely belonging to the band. The track almost breaks into an electro breath recalling someone like The Browning but nothing stays still with The Afterimage and the furnace of inventive flames just continues burning brightly and shifting destructively.
All the tracks on the release lay individual atmospheres and escapades which ride like the best roller coaster, the senses unbalanced within gravity but returned to their initial state by the end; just they are now wasted and blissful. There are many great new debuts around right now, all worthy of being discovered but Formless will bring the biggest reward and addiction.
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