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Phavian Foreword album cover
3.02 | 6 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Feldgrau (5:38)
2. Watersong (11:59)
3. Green Iris (5:46)
4. Acolyte (10:16)

Total Time 33:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Elizabeth Matson / Vocals & Keys
- Puyan Hassani / Guitars
- Jason Lobell / Bass
- Patrick Hassani / Drums & Keys

Releases information

Produced by Phavian
Engineered by Charlie Park and Nicholas Zagorin
Mixed by Assen Stoyanov
Mastered by Fergal Davis at Summit Studios, Dublin

Thanks to aapatsos for the addition
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PHAVIAN Foreword ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (17%)

PHAVIAN Foreword reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by aapatsos
3 stars An unconventional "taster"!

"Foreword" is the second release of PHAVIAN, after their debut "Kiena" in 2009. The EP acts as a "taster" for the 4-part concept (1 track per album) that they have set out to release in the next years, with "Meridian I" being released first in 2011. The 4 tracks presented here describe a pretty unconventional, dark progressive rock/metal sound with diverse influences.

Feldgrau borrows many of the elements that made OPETH famous, executed in a mellower manner. On top of this, the female vocals from Elizabeth Matson add a "haunting" atmosphere and result in a somewhat uncomfortable sound. The excellent guitar work reaches its peak point in the closing adventurous riffs. Watersong picks up exactly where its predecessor left us, starting soft but adding groovier riffs in the vein of early PSYCHOTIC WALTZ, which feeling flows throughout the 12 minutes of the track. By far the most powerful riff in this EP is the main theme of Green Iris with its odd-time signatures. The vocals again provide this unconforming feeling and may even alienate a few. Acolyte is by far the mellowest track and flows along the melodic post-rock patterns of The Gathering. However, high-pitched guitars remind of the more adventurous riff patterns of Pain of Salvation, giving ultimately a nice balance to what potentially is the most interesting track of this "compilation".

PHAVIAN's sound is not a conventional one, mixing modern progressive metal with dark atmospheres and avant/bizarre female vocals. This EP does not act as, and is not meant to be, a coherent set of tracks; it works well as an introduction to the band's sound and should appeal to fans of more "eclectic" bands such as TO-MERA. It is available in the band's website for free download.

All taken into account, this is a pretty interesting EP deserving no less than 3.5 stars.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Phavian are a US-based progressive metal band whose debut album saw the light a couple of years ago (2009), and now in this 2011 they have released an EP and a full-length album. This EP entitled "Foreword" consists of four compositions, two short and two longs, which make a total time of thirty-three minutes. So despite it is an EP, you will have a complete taste of what Phavian's music is about. Also, this EP is offered as a free download, so go and get it.

It opens with "Feldgrau", one of the shorter tracks of the EP. It does not really have a clear metal orientation; it may be due to the female voice of Elizabeth Matson, and that kind of melodic flavor inherent in their sound. The song stops and changes before the fourth minute, the guitars appear and create a cool instrumental passage.

"Watersong" is their longest composition (twelve minutes). The first minute and a half starts slowly, mellow and calm with nice vocals. Later the guitar sound is prominent and the different instruments join and create a stronger melody. The song is pretty rich, with several inner changes in rhythm and mood. I love the guitar and its diversity of chords and figures; the drums are always good, and the vocals nicely complement the sound, there is a moment where a male voice enters at the same time as the female one. Overall, this is a high-quality composition.

"Green Iris" is another shorter track, and this may be the best example of their prog metal orientation. The thing here is that to my ears, the power that the instruments (guitars, bass and drums) implement is vanished by the soft and delicate female voice, which is a good contrast, but may be a doubled-edge weapon for Phavian's followers.

Finally, "Acolyte", which is my favorite track. The music never ceases and the rhythm perfectly flows. Here I love the guitar work, which together with the voice creates a mellow, interesting and wonderful sound. The instrumental parts are also great, the guitar riffs fantastic, the drums constant, accurate, and the bass pretty good. After five minutes the first part of the song vanishes, and it turns into a much calmer, mellower track, with piano included. Now you can rest and feel more relaxed. Later the song changes again, it is progressing little by little, implementing new guitar textures and creating more emotional atmospheres. Great final track!

Very nice EP from Phavian, now I m looking forward to listen to their "Meridian I" album. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Foreword' - Phavian (6/10)

Quite fittingly, 'Foreword' is my first experience with the band Phavian. Although I first thought that this was an EP that this progressive metal band had done in between longer albums, 'Foreword' is actually a four song sampler of four albums of an overlying concept that they plan to do. The first of these four albums ('Meridian I') dropped this year, the next three have been scheduled to arrive through out the next couple of years, as late as 2013. With that in mind, 'Foreword'is an interesting look into the future, although the band's music itself makes little effort to cover up its past influences.

Due to 'Foreword's status as a sampler, concepts of 'album flow' are effectively thrown out the window. However, while these songs are coming from four different tentative albums, they do not sound all that different from each other. There are, however, minor details that distinguish them from each other. 'Feldgrau' almost instantly makes Opeth's influence on Phavian clear. In later songs- particularly the mini-epic 'Watersong'- Phavian introduces a quasi-avant-garde approach to their music, using some dissonant riffs and the paranoid circus modes that avant-metal often dabbles with. In any case, Opeth is the first band that will come to many people's minds when first listening to the band, but I think they most closely resemble the British To-Mera. Chiefly, this is in large part due to the clean vocals of Elizabeth Matson, whose higher register voice is full of vibrato. Against the often crunchy instrumentation of brothers Hassani and bassist Jason Lobell, Matson's voice can sound out of place, but it gives Phavian a more original sound nonetheless.

Based alone on the four songs, I can't tell what this large concept of Phavian's will be about, but if they plan on going ahead with this thing, it will be a pretty impressive achievement by the end of it. Phavian craft some pretty interesting progressive metal, and unlike many bands which stick to one thing they're good at, Phavian's sound bounces around alot. Although the eclectic sound of the band makes them more interesting however, they do not execute everything consistently; the production sounds very mechanical, and while the ideas- be it vocal melodies or avant-metal riffs- all work well on their own, Phavian is left without a defining sound to them, although by the time this four album project is up, I'm sure that issue will be rectified.

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