In Aphelion – Luciferian Age

Band: In Aphelion
Title: Luciferian Age
Label: Edged Circle Productions
Release date: 5 November 2021
Country: International: Sweden / Netherlands
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

Well… the doors of Hell have finally opened and an evil creature has come out. This is a beast of an EP, it has only four songs but hey, believe me that as soon as you finish listening to it, you’ll press the “play” button again and again. It has happened to me… 

In Aphelion is the band that Sebastian Ramstedt initially started as his solo project but it is now a band with a complete lineup (you can read the interview I did with Sebastian a few weeks ago here, talking about this and more interesting things). And, who are his bandmates? There’s Johan Bergebäck at rhythm guitars, his longtime mate in Necrophobic; they work perfectly together in that band, so no surprise that they both do a great work here too. And Marco Prij at drums; I didn’t know him at all until I listened to the debut album by Cryptosis and I was instantly mesmerized with his high level of technique! Sebastian Ramstedt plays lead guitars, bass and he is in charge of vocals too. And the result is totally outstanding! 

The way this EP starts is very promising: drums and guitars seem to be ready for a powerful start, but instead of that, after a few seconds there are only guitars and bass playing a melody highly inspired by classic Heavy Metal. This makes me shiver, as an old school metalhead I am! Then, a whispered voice starts: “The curse upon my bones is not a curse of death, but a curse of life eternal”. And the journey through the realms of darkness, fire and the undead begins. “Draugr” is built on a massive guitar work, playing some infectious black metal riffs, with Marco setting the pace, relentless at times and always truly accurate. Sebastian’s vocals are dark, tormented, and the way he and Johan entwine their guitars is the signature for In Aphelion. The solo in this song is brilliant and really distinctive of the man playing it, and the last minute and a half of this track is simply epic! Can easily travel a few decades back in time. Wow… this is only the first song and I can’t hide my excitement, gives me great vibes!

“Luciferian Age” is dynamic, dark, energic, the catchiest song in this EP, riffs here are making their way infesting your brain and will remain there for days or weeks, that’s for sure. The good chemistry between the two men at charge of guitars is more than undeniable again. The rageful vocals sound great here, distilling wrath in every raspy scream (“Going to Waaaar, Blackened rage…” with that infectious riff… wow!). Another thing I love is how the bass is highlighted at some points. “Wrath of a False God” is pure fire, Marco unleashes his inner beast and destroys his drumkit until almost the first half of the song, and his double bass pedal is steaming! Near the end his wrath strikes again, as a reminder that this is black metal at high speed. Can’t do anything but to love his skills! Lyrics talking about obscure themes, like the Prince of Demons and the world set on flames… great imagery, fitting the music perfectly.

And, to close this EP, here comes “Pleasure to Kill”… yes, a cover for the mythic Kreator song! Honestly… when I saw that these guys had the balls to play a cover for this song, I was really curious. And I must say that it sounds great! Pure blackened thrash metal, a song spitting rage and fury from start to finish with that personal touch… showing what’s a rebel attitude 35 years after the original was released!  Drums are faster than on the previous track (yes, this is still possible!), and the brilliant guitar solo pays the best homage to the original. Kreator are my Thrash Metal gods and In Aphelion just nailed this classic anthem, not only good but brilliant.

This EP was mixed and mastered by Fredrik Folkare (from Unleashed), and released by Edged Circle Productions. My only complaint about “Luciferian Age” is that it’s too short! But don’t worry: if you feel the same, you only need to wait for some more weeks, and on December 25th a full-length album by In Aphelion will be released. So yes, this is only the beginning of a great journey through darkness… For me, it’s a solid 9.5/10 Sílvia 

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9,5/10 Epic Storm
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