Premiere: Æpoch – “Tabula Rasa”
Something suspicious is afoot in Canada; there’s no way they can pump out as much quality tech death as they do without the dark arts somehow being involved. From artful prog acts such as Beyond Creation and Augury to shred-fiends First Fragment and Archspire, it seems like everything spawned by our neighbors to the north is solid gold. Ontario’s Æpoch are no exception. Their semi-eponymous debut EP, Æpochalypse, is a masterclass in writing music that is both progressive and listenable. They seek to top it on their forthcoming debut, Awakening Inception, and we’re bringing you the first taste of it today with “Tabula Rasa.”
Keeping in line with their no-nonsense playing style while drawing from sounds across the metal spectrum, “Tabula Rasa” opens up with a riff that would sound right at home on a laid-back doom record. Even as they turn those single notes into power chords and transition into a punchier Phrygian riff, the pace set by the drums keeps that laid-back feeling going. Their sense of escalation is impeccable, gradually easing you into heavier riffs before hitting you with the weird stuff. The slight discrepancies in intonation during the fretless bass-driven interlude increase its already unsettling feeling without being distracting, and it flows seamlessly from the alien back to the familiar shortly thereafter.
Between the songwriting, that fantastic tone, and the plethora of guest appearances (including members from Equipoise, Wormhole, and Bleak Flesh), Awakening Inception is going to be an album to watch. The multitude of influences promises an eclectic and engaging listen; look for it on April 13th directly through Æpoch’s Bandcamp and Bigcartel pages. You can follow them on Facebook for all your social mediating needs.