(TheMadIsraeli provides this introduction to the music of Arphael.)
So I’ve been trying to catch up on reviews I meant to have done months ago, and it just isn’t happening because I keep finding absolutely stellar musical discoveries and we keep getting promos I’ve been anticipating. This album, however, is from last year, by a lone Ukranian man whose name is unknown. Arphael is the alias of the project, and it is one of the most unique and badass slabs of titanic rib-cage crushing brutality I’ve ever heard. Ambigram is a gem from last year that somehow just got criminally ignored.
Now what does Arphael do? That’s really hard to articulate. It’s technical death metal, it’s djent, it’s industrial, it’s garage black metal cheesy cheap keyboards and vocals buried in the mix. The ultimate sound is otherworldly, alien, and completely disorienting, especially since the song-writing takes a tech-death leaning of lots of sections and lots of tempo changes. It’s also completely unrelenting. There isn’t a whole lot of breathing room in the hour or more’s worth of music; for some, listening to Arphael will be a genuinely exhausting endeavor.
It’s all about fretboard wizardry, an astounding showcase of the usage of an eight-string guitar’s range, punchy dimension-warping grooves, meteor-shattering machine-gun stops and starts, and ethereal keyboard work that is always there hanging over everything. I’ve described sounds by bands before as being dimension-shattering and galaxy-warping (and using other kinds of hyperbolic silly shit), but Arphael is the real deal and warrants the hyperbole.
I’m going to let the album speak for itself, along with the two singles now out for Arphael’s upcoming album Guided by Light, which sound KILLER.
Let me know what you think. Honestly, I am not anticipating that many people will “get” this, but for me and my tastes I think what Arphael is doing here is pretty amazing, next-level music.