ALBUM REVIEW: Aephanemer – A Dream Of Wilderness

Over a couple of years ago, I decided to really focus on Rock Out Stand Out and take it further. Around the same time, I received a message from a French guitarist who wanted some reviews for his band’s new album. This album became a top ten contender that year, that’s my short way of saying that I enjoyed the album that much. That guitarist was Martin Hamiche and the band were AEPHANEMER.

Fast forward to the present, they are now signed to Napalm Records and their fan base is understandably growing by the second. They are due to release their upcoming record A Dream Of Wilderness and from listening to this, it’s clear new listeners will be keen to join their clan.

Both Land Of Hope and Antigone constitutes as one of the best album openers, as mentioned before the best ones tend to lure you in and hit you with an impact. Instrumental Land Of Hope lures you in with it’s heroic and uplifting sound. Opening song Antigone hits with an impact, fans may notice more symphonic elements to the sound which gives it a great lift. It also gives us the first taste of vocalist Marion Bascoul using classically trained vocals, you can hear this in both lead and in the choral parts. These are a great touch to the track adding to the epic ambience.

Over the two years I have known about AEPHANEMER, the key thing I notice is their ability to create marvellous melodies. These are often uplifting and help you feel empowered due to the excellent musicianship working together flawlessly. Below are just a few examples of what I mean.

The moment Le Radeau de la Méduse (Translation: The Raft Of Medusa) started playing, I was instantly immersed into this great melody. The track contains majestic symphonic elements, finger blistering guitar prowess and stunning vocal work; these all work together well to create the right ambience for the title in question.  Hair will be swishing and horns raised high at live shows, in your living room, on your commute to work or wherever you happen to be at the time this track plays.

DIMMU BORGIR and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE came to mind during the track Roots And Leaves, this was mostly down to the similar sounding composition. Everything from the grand sounding symphonic elements and eerie choral work to the piercing growls, the slick riffs/solos, thunderous drums and pounding bass work together flawlessly to create this fantastic track.

In terms of musical composition, Strider will be that track where you can walk with confidence held high. If this was used in a film, this would be the part where the main protagonist walks in slow motion to whatever the next part of their task is. On the other hand, I interpret the lyrics such as “I’ve kept on toiling for someone else’s welfare Still standing on my four legs” and “This is how I will die and then disappear Under the moon” to be about a fallen warrior who is awaiting their fate.

This consistency in remarkable melodies carries on right down to the closing title track. Like with many great closers, it leaves the listener wanting more whilst drawing to a grand close. I should mention it’s worth sticking around for bonus tracks which include their rendition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky piece Old French Song and the French version of Le Radeau de la Méduse.

A Dream Of Wilderness is a solid album that will have fans rejoicing and new listeners joining the clan. This album is further proof that AEPHANEMER are rising stars in metal.

Note:  it’s crucial that you are distraction free when listening to this as it requires your undivided attention.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

A Dream Of Wilderness will be released 19th November 2021 via Napalm Records.

Find AEPHANEMER on Facebook.

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