Out of the hordes of technical death metal bands, the music of Canadian quintet The Noumenon instantly seized my attention. Not often does one come across a band that manages to combine good progression and smooth melodies with technical death metal, and yet have a charismatic and dynamic approach to their music. And this is exactly what The Noumenon manages to encapsulate with their debut EP “Apocrypha”. The EP spans approximately 22 minutes, with four fascinating and remarkable tracks. The line up on “Apocrypha” is :-
Ben Harbak: Guitars
Blair Butcher: Guitars
Kyle Cusiac: Vocals
Andreas Winkelmann: Bass
Devon Wolfe: Drums
The EP starts off with “Ulterior Predation”; fast, aggressive and blaring. Seconds into the EP, one becomes aware that they’re listening to a band that obviously worships bands like Atheist, Gorguts and the like. “Journey in the Absolute” and “A Lengthened Shadow of Ignorance” are both tracks that deviate from orthodox progressive/technical death metal, with clean vocals and mesmerizing acoustic guitar sections. “A Lengthened Shadow of Ignorance” has a slow, brooding vibe to it; something reminiscent of Katatonia.
I am impressed by Kyle’s vocals. Not only does he have great growls, but also breathtaking clean vocals, which along with the music create a great imagery. The duo of Ben and Blair is a show-stealer. The way both of them have crafted intricate solos with crushing riffs and mellow acoustic sections boasts multitudes of their musical prowess and song-writing skills. The bass lines are skillfully written and compliment the drumming. The drumming has been executed with finesse, and shows that Devon is no stranger to experimenting with his drumming style, as there is a lot going on in the drums section. The man behind the production is Jamie King, who has previously also worked with big names like Electric Wizard, Between The Buried And Me, The Human Abstract and Scale The Summit. This man surely knows what he’s doing. All the instruments are perfectly clear in the mix, especially the bass guitar. The drums sound organic and lively. I believe a huge credit behind the grandness and magnificence of this EP goes to King, without whom the band’s sound wouldn’t be so awesome!
To sum up, “Apocrypha” is a kick-ass EP. Everything on this EP is tight; from musicianship to production! While I do find similarities between The Noumenon and their fellow countrymen Quo Vadis, I think it’s a passable knock-off and not something I’d put a lot of thought into. I’d strongly recommend this EP for people who like death metal out of the ordinary, like Cynic, Atheist and Exivious.
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