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Akphaezya biography
AKPHAEZYA is an Avant-garde Gothic/Progressive Metal band formed in France in 2002.

The band released their first demo in 2004 called "Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity" and finally released their first full length album effort in 2008.

The band shows an electic mix of styles and has a wide range of influences, from death metal, QUEEN to more avant-garde bands such as MR BUNGLE.

The band is comprised of Mehl AŽlin on vocals and keyboards, Stephan H. on guitar, Stephane B on bass guitar and Loic Moussaoui on drums.

The band cites among their influences bands like DEATH, ATROX, OPETH, MR BUNGLE, CARCASS, KORN, ANATHEMA, TOMAHAWK, TOOL, PEARL JAM, ARCH ENEMY and many more.

(Thanks to Harry - HughesJB4 - for the artist's info.)

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3.69 | 22 ratings
Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity
4.19 | 17 ratings
Anthology IV - The Tragedy Of Nerak

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity  by AKPHAEZYA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.69 | 22 ratings

Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity
Akphaezya Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Pastmaster

3 stars Avant-garde metal is usually an interesting listen, as you never quite know what to expect. It's home to bands that exceed the boundaries of other genres, often incorporating many elements of non-metal music beyond the usual classical music and jazz fusion technique of instrumentation. Now, interesting doesn't always mean good, and I often find avant-garde metal to be a mess of ideas. Because of this, it can either be fantastic when those ideas are all incorporated into a cohesive whole, or very painful to listen to when those ideas are scattered all around with nothing to put them together.

French avant-garde metal band Akphaezya unfortunately ends up sounding like the latter in the first song after a sort of ambient intro. "Chrysalis" sounds like separate jam sessions placed over each other in a smorgasbord of styles that lack the cohesion that could put all the pieces together. One second there well be a calm and serene folk melody, then without warning black metal blastbeats and growls come in like you just turned on a different album. This keeps repeating throughout the song with various styles. It's a real shame, as I love the jazzy lounge/swing metal moments when they come in, but nothing lasts long enough to get the listener really invested.

The album isn't entirely like this however. Thankfully, there are several songs that stick to one style each for the most part. I think this is what generally works better. Mixing a slew of ideas is great, but it can be much more rewarding when each song uses one or two of those styles rather than trying to stick as much as you can into one song. "The Golden Vortex of Kaltaz" is the highlight of the album, and it takes on a somewhat thrash-y symphonic metal sound. The guitars have a gritty crunch, while the vocals range from melodic clean vocals to growls a couple times within the song. "The Secret of Time" is another one of the best tracks, this time with a middle-eastern vibe.

Besides the lack of cohesion on several tracks, what often kills the album for me are the vocals. The instrumentation is very often great when it all fits together, but Nehl A√ęlin's thick accent and eclectic use of vocal techniques end up ruining some songs that would otherwise be great. Take "Reflections" for example. There's some killer guitar licks, but I find it annoying and distracting when the vocals are switching from bouncy J-pop, to maniacal squealing a la The Mars Volta, to simply average melodic vocals. While vocalists who have this eclectic range of tones and styles to their voice are often lauded, I often find the multiple singing styles works better overall when multiple singers are applied, as usually the singers can play off of one another, making them all blend well. However, I will give credit where credit is due, as her vocals on the two songs I mentioned in the previous paragraph are pretty great.

Akphaezya's Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity is certainly an acquired taste. While it will probably be an excellent album for the staunch followers of the genre, this may be a bit of a tough listen at times for those who like a bit more cohesion in their music. It's nowhere near the worst of the genre, but nowhere near the best either. If they focused in on one or two styles for each song and didn't include crazy vocals, I think this could be a great record.

Written for the MMA (MetalMusicArchives) Reviewer's Challenge.

See review here:

 Anthology IV - The Tragedy Of Nerak by AKPHAEZYA album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.19 | 17 ratings

Anthology IV - The Tragedy Of Nerak
Akphaezya Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Tragedy of Nerak resembles what would happen if a symphonic metal band along the lines of Nightwish were locked in a room and had avant-prog and jazz albums from the likes of Henry Cow played at them for a few days straight without sleep. Keyboardist-vocalist Nehl AŽlin mixes up clean vocals with some downright startling growls as the band lurch about in an experimental frenzy. Occasionally, the corset-bound coastline of gothy-symphonic metal can be seen on the horizon, but for the most part this band explores uncharted waters, attempting to apply jazz ideas to symphonic metal in much the same way as Atheist or Cynic did for death metal.
 Anthology IV - The Tragedy Of Nerak by AKPHAEZYA album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.19 | 17 ratings

Anthology IV - The Tragedy Of Nerak
Akphaezya Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Just to get a couple of things out of the way, firstly this isn't an anthology and also this is actually their second album and not their fourth. This French outfit came together in 2002, with Stephan H. Zag-Zero (guitars/concept-story), Nehl Aelin (vocals/keyboards), Loic Moussaoui (drums) and Stephane B'guier (bass) and have been working on this album for the last couple of years. There are some songs such as 'Utopia' that are just strange (much in the vein of some of System of a Down's quirkier moments), whereas others are a little (but only a little) more straightforward, but the only debate to be had here is whether this is prog metal, symphonic metal, or avant-garde metal? To be honest, who cares? This is complex music played with passion and aggression yet always with stacks of melody and often some great piano to provide a little lightness.

The production is stunning, but when one looks a little closer at the credits it is hardly surprising as it was recorded and mixed by S.Biguet (Trepalium, klone, Comity...) and mastered by Brian Gardner (Down, Lamb of God, Queen, Suicidal Tendencies, QOTSA etc). There are times when Nehl reminds me of Candia from Incubus Succubus with her good clear vocals, but she is adept at many different styles which is just as well given what is going on with the music. It can be acoustic and gentle one minute then strident and domineering the next, truly progressive as it moves through lots of different styles and emotions ' but always with a metal base.

This is heavy stuff, and needs to be played at a high volume, but if you enjoy music that is both heavy and moving in different directions then this should be on your player.

 Anthology IV - The Tragedy Of Nerak by AKPHAEZYA album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.19 | 17 ratings

Anthology IV - The Tragedy Of Nerak
Akphaezya Experimental/Post Metal

Review by kluseba

5 stars You like diversified Avant-Garde Metal but think that bands such as Ebonylake, Le Grand Guignol or UneXpect are tough to digest? You like epic Symphonic Metal with some experiments but think that bands such as Nightwish, Rhapsody Of Fire or Therion happen to be too overloaded for you? You like experimental Gothic Metal but bands such as Crematory, Moonspell or Orphanage are a little bit too brutal for your taste?

Well, then this record should be your new bible. The French Akphaezya (they could have chosen a catchier band name but it fits) take influences from multiple genres such and mostly Gothic and Symphonic Metal and add some progressive elements to it. One can for example hear jazz piano parts mixed with blackened gothic moments and haunting classic influences in "Scene II : Σωφροσύνη / Sophrosyne" as well as for example circus music and some danceable folklore moments in the vivid and bass orientated album highlight "Scene 1: Utopia". One can hear swing and jazz parts again in the brilliant "Scene II : Υβρις / Hķbris" and even colourful samba and tango passages in the overall very heavy neckbreaker "Scene II : ?The Harsh Verdict". A couple of calmer tracks like the piano interlude "Trance H.L. 2" help this record to work better and give some time to digest and get deeper into the concept. The running time of a little bit more than fifty minutes is just perfect. It's not too short like a release coming from Spacemak3r and it's not too long as a release from Opeth might be.

Each song has multiple influences but in comparison to many other so called Avant-Garde bands, Akphaezya don't lose themselves in overlong and endless technical passages that seem only to show how extreme they are. No, the songs on this release don't only fit conceptually together and have a good guiding line. Each single track has its catchy moments and rarely exaggerates on too many changes of style. The musicians in here are in fact truly talented without wanting to show their abilities all the time. The band prefers to focus on the intellectual but never too overwhelming concept of a Classic Greek theater play and on the song writing itself. The smooth flow of this profound album is a clear trademark that makes this young band standout from many others. This release doesn't try too hard to surprise but rather wants to move the listener. A great example is the chilling "Scene II: Dystopia" with beautiful piano and especially violin melodies and sweet acoustic guitar riffs. This track reminds me of a calm Ayreon ballad but I even think this here is better than the great Dutch master of progressive music and you won't read this very often coming from me.

Right now, they are only known to experts of the genre but they really have the potential to make it far and please to any open-minded metal fan. And even beyond this, some bits and pieces could even please to fans of other experimental genres such as Progressive Rock or Free Jazz. Each song grows quickly and makes this record to one of the musical highlights of the year. Don't miss to check this release out. It may sound a little bit unusual at first try but already after a second spin, the catchy tracks will really grow on you. After more than five spins, I'm ready to say Akphaezya are one of the most gifted bands I have ever heard from many points of view. I could not listen to this kind of music all day long but if I do so I really happen to be into this little masterpiece of art. There are not many great bands coming from France but the few ones that I know are more than just great. I highly recommand to check out the releases of this band as well as of The Old Dead Tree if you care for atmospheric, imaginative and progressive metal music. These bands truly are one of a kind.

Originally published on on August 15th of the year 2012.

 Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity  by AKPHAEZYA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.69 | 22 ratings

Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity
Akphaezya Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Wied

4 stars I first came across Akphaezya while looking for bands similar to another French avant-garde jazz metal group I'm fond of, Pin-Up Went Down. A quick listen to both reveals some massive similarities between the two; both are technical jazz-influenced metal groups with similar female singers. Anthology II is this band's first album.

The opening song, "Preface", is a pretty good introduction. The beginning reminds me of Tomahawk's "Flashback" a bit, especially the percussion. The song is dominated by airy synths and mystical vocals and whispering, provided by the singer. Not bad at all. 4/5

The first song was okay, but the majority of people who listen to this album are looking for metal music. "Chrysalis" fills in that spot. It mixes piano with heavy metal drumming and guitar. The singing is also very good here. 5/5

The next song, "Beyond the Sky", can only be described as an acoustic metal song. Again the vocals are prominent, and there's some more piano. The guitar parts are played on an acoustic guitar. If you have imagination, you can imagine this song played on standard metal instruments. Refreshing. 4/5

"Khamsin", the next song on the track, is traditional jazz metal. You can hear the jazz influences in the song, simply by listening to the way it carries itself around. This is, however, still a metal song, and a very good one at that. The vocals on this song are also very good, like all of the other tracks. 5/5

"Reflections" is another jazzy piece. It's very much along the lines of the same track, however, it has some more metallic elements to it. It's pretty good. 4/5

"Awake" is a short acoustic guitar interlude. Think the metal version of "Mood for a Day". I think it could have been left out or fleshed out a bit more. 3/5

"The Golden Vortex of Kaltaz" starts off with a twisted piano introduction. Whether the piano is prepared or has effects added, I can't tell. The song breaks into a pure metal piece next. The vocalist is doing her best work at this part. 5/5

"The Secret of Time" segues from the last song. It begins with a spacey intro, complete with sitar. Another metal middle portion of the track. You may think this gets boring, but the music is good, so you don't mind. Also, this track has some Arabic influences, so it's a bit more refreshing. The outro is also very well played. 4/5

"Stolen Tears" starts with some great guitar work. This, and the vocals, are the only instruments in this song. It's basically another interlude, but it's better than "Awake". 4/5

The next song is really strange. "Trance- H.L.4" is an incredibly weird piece. The vocalist does some wailing and chanting to some percussion backing. Not really in my taste range. 2/5

The last song on the album, "The Bottle of Lie", starts off with a Latin jazz feel. It's a very upbeat way to end the album, but that's not the whole song. Some very freaky metal follows, the vocals wail and at one point there's an accordion. The song is really meant to make you psychotic. It's actually one of the best songs on the album, however. It perfectly mixes carnival with metal with Latin and jazz. Towards the end, there's also a spoken part accompanied by violin. It leaves a cliffhanger. You want them to make a continuation. 5/5

If you're a fan of metal music, and especially jazz-metal, Akphaezya's first album is a must-have. It's a stellar debut. Hopefully, the band's future material will be on-par.

 Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity  by AKPHAEZYA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.69 | 22 ratings

Akphaezya - Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity
Akphaezya Experimental/Post Metal

Review by progressive

3 stars Akphaezya (nice name) combines poppy jazz, (Gothic, death, progressive...) metal and other styles (also own experimentation, of course) into a nice hybrid. Resemblances: Unexpect, Angizia, Atrox, Mr. Bungle. The overall sound is nice and production is good. I like the changes in this music, but they're maybe too much divided into clear parts. Also, the "pop" metal, as i say, could have been replaced with more experimental art.

Preface (1.). Atmospheric nu jazz, a bit ska.

Chrysalis (2.) starts with a refreshing flowing piano like Angizia's. Then turns into symphonic death metal. There's many styles and changes. Nice song.

Beyond the Sky (3.). Moderate "thinking people's pop", classical in the middle and latter part of the song is very nice, dark psychedelic oriental freak folk, reminds me of Comus. This is maybe the best Akphaezya for me.

Khamsin (4.) cheerful avant-piano jazz and freaky metal here and there. Very nice!

Reflections (5.) is quite soulful but sounds a bit too pop for me, though there's many elements. Think softer The Mars Volta and softer Amy Winehouse combined metal. Actually this song reminds me of some j-rock.

Awake (6.) is a short track with nice little psychedelic patterns and atmospheric trip hop.

The Golden Vortex of Kaltaz (7.) starts with some kind of soft classical music and a bit tango (his is what I like in avant-garde), but nicely goes metal after 1:46. Unfortunately, the metal in here is once again quite boring, basic female-fronted metal - and also metalcore. Ok, it's still progressive metal, but as many of us knows, it's not always good. Some people might still think this is nice avant-garde metal. Maybe it is but I don't want to say that and I don't like it much.

The Secret of Time (8.). Slightly oriental ambientism - is this going to be symphonic metal or new age? Metal. After

Stolen Tears (9.) is a short peaceful semi-acoustic track. Nothing.

Trance: H.L.4 (10.) contains annoying a cappella sounds and African drumming.

The Bottle of Lie (11.) - This is something that works. More bossa nova in the jazz and also the metal is more extreme, attacking and there's crazy portamentos, semi-operatic vocals like in Atrox and Unexpect. But there's also freak waltz and relaxed reggae here, also some choral speaking at the very end.

I recommend you to listen to this album. I was disappointed and could had given two stars, but - also four stars would be possible.

Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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