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PHAVIAN

Progressive Metal • United States


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Phavian biography
PHAVIAN is a progressive metal band from Los Angeles, USA. The band was created with the intention to focus on composition and thus, in April 2009 they released their debut album "Kiena". The rest of the year found them touring and promoting their music. Using the gained experience, shortly after, PHAVIAN initiated a challenging project of releasing a four-album concept. The recording process for this project started in February 2011. The EP "Foreword", released in August 2011, is a first taste of what is to follow, as it contains one track for each of the upcoming albums: "Meridian I", "Meridian II", "Inversion", and "Stretta". The first of these, "Meridian I", was released in October 2011 with the rest of the albums expected to follow shortly after.

The band quotes several influences: OPETH, PORCUPINE TREE, PAIN OF SALVATION, NEVERMORE, KING CRIMSON, PURE REASON REVOLUTION, PELICAN, TOOL and KATATONIA. Their sound is a strange and interesting mix of dark progressive rock and experimental metal with several crossover and theatrical/avant elements (mainly coming from the female vocals).

Biography by aapatsos

Phavian official website

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Meridian IIMeridian II
Independent 2013
Audio CD$10.00
$18.00 (used)
Meridian IMeridian I
Independent 2011
Audio CD$9.94
$9.95 (used)

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PHAVIAN discography


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PHAVIAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Kiena
2009
3.24 | 6 ratings
Meridian I
2011
3.24 | 4 ratings
Meridian II
2013

PHAVIAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PHAVIAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PHAVIAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PHAVIAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.03 | 4 ratings
Foreword
2011

PHAVIAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Meridian II by PHAVIAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.24 | 4 ratings

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Meridian II
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by FemmeMetalWebzine

3 stars The progressive/avant-garde metal band Phavian returns with their third album "Meridian II". The band first came on the radar in 2009 with their debut "Kiena". After releasing an EP ("Foreword") in 2011, they released the epic "Meridian I" a few months later and have now released the follow-up.

The acoustic, melancholy of "Adam's Ale" begins the 6-song, 39-minute album on a beautiful note. Lead vocalist Elizabeth Matson shows what a diverse singing style she has and fits in perfectly with the music. The opening song clocks in at almost 3-minutes and is followed by two 8-minute tracks. "Purl" is next and is a nice mid-paced song, with tempo changes that goes from heavier, guitar driven and back to the acoustic style of the first song ? in fact, it is almost like an extension of the opening number. The songs have plenty of atmosphere and emotion throughout the CD. "Hexenring" is a straight-forward track with a crunchy metal riff that dominates the song. "Mirror Skin" is a melancholic piano instrumental which leads us into the 11-minute epic "Watersong". This is simply an outstanding track and definitely my favorite. The final track "Fall of Cruor" is another highlight.

Phavian is a band that presents the listener with a lot of nuances and complexity in their music and "Meridian II" is no different. Phavian is a band that is both adventurous and fearless and with "Meridian II" they continue to push boundaries.

Rating ? 78/100

Review by Tony Cannella

(Originally published onto Femme Metal Webzine at smarturl.it/PhavianII )

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 Meridian I by PHAVIAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.24 | 6 ratings

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Meridian I
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by FemmeMetalWebzine

3 stars The Los Angeles, California based Avant-Garde Progressive metal band Phavian released their debut in 2009, followed by the previously reviewed "Foreword" EP in 2011, now these musical wizards return with their sophomore full-length album "Meridian I". For a prog release the album last only 37-minutes and features 6-songs. I liked the previous EP, maybe a tad more than this one, but "Meridian I" displays some serious musicality and shouldn't be dismissed.

The band is only too eager to show off their musical chops like in the heavy, pounding instrumental opener "Slate". Phavian also plays with various tempos as the next track "Cobalt and Crimson" demonstrates with its slow, heavy and dreamy pacing, and also the introduction the clean vocals of Elizabeth Matson. The song also clocks in at very prog-like 8-minutes long. Near the end of the song the tempo speeds up and this ending section really salvages the song for me, this is just an excellent burst of solid musicianship and vocals. "Stil de Grain" is next and boasts a nice steady rhythm and pace to it, the first half of this song is an instrumental before Elizabeth joins in. This is followed by the obligatory prog epic with the 10-minute "Tyrian", my favorite part of the song is the guitar solo that surfaces about two minutes into the song. "Meridian I" is concluded by the duo of "Feldgrau" and the beautiful piano outro "Obsidian".

Apparently, "Meridian I" is the first part of a concept that will span four albums. This is certainly an ambitious undertaking, but Phavian are an ambitious band. I would definitely recommend this band to fans of Opeth or middle period The Gathering. Phavian will not be everyone's cup of tea, but still this is a worthwhile band for prog fans to check out.

Rating ? 73/100

Review by Tony Cannella

(originally published onto Femme Metal Webzine at smarturl.it/PhavianI )

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 Meridian II by PHAVIAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.24 | 4 ratings

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Meridian II
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars Phavian "Meridian II" 6.8

"Meridian II" is the sophomore album from Californian prog metal band Phavian, the second part of an ongoing four act saga of Tolkien-styled medieval fantasy. Although being lumped in the modern progressive metal movement, Phavian in fact have very little in common with the common progressive metal staples of Dream Theater and Symphony X, bringing influences from gothic and folk music to create a much more diverse sounding record.

"Meridian II" is a record spanning only 39 minutes, and as an avid vinyl fan, I believe this is the right length for an album. It contains three shorter songs and three longer, 'epic', tracks. The longest of these, 12 minute "Watersong" was previously featured on the free download EP "Foreword", which contained one song from each of the four chapters. Many, like myself, have found Phavian through the free download release on bandcamp, which I think is a very good way of getting music to the masses.

Although they may be distant in genre, much of Phavian's structure comes from the books of Opeth and their 10 minute songs, with often breaks into acoustic interludes, with a very distinctive dual acoustic one in "Watersong". There are strong elements of folk music throughout the album, with opener "Adam's Ale" being essentially a folk piece, with some very nice vocal work from Elizabeth Matson.

Matson's vocals are another element that brings Phavian out of the cliché and into a realm of their own, her vocals taking influence from gothic vocalists such as Tarja Turunen, and I hear particular similarity to fellow progressive metal leading lady Julie Kiss of British band To-Mera.

However, Opeth's structural style has often been criticized as "patchwork music", becoming more formulaic than actually flowing, and I hear this here, specifically on "Watersong", which doesn't have the 'epic' feel of building to something, simply feels like one part on top of another.

However, like last year's shock low-budget surprise "Book I" from The Great Gamble, Meridian II falls short due to the weaker side of production. The songs seem very bare at times, often only the core instruments are heard, with very little 'depth', for lack of a better word. Although great songs like "Purl" are fine as they are, I feel that it could be a phenomenal song with a full string section, but a song like closer "Fall of Cruor" sounds odd and dissonant with the shallow production.

Overall, "Meridian II" is a good album that falls short due to its production. Unlike many modern prog metal albums, it doesn't have too much singular influence, and uses fusions of folk, gothic and prog styles to create something new. There is definitely much to be excited about here, as this is a huge step up from Meridian I, and I hope the band can improve on this still in the final two chapters of the saga.

Best songs: Purl, Mirror Skin

Originally posted at my facebook page/blog www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

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 Meridian II by PHAVIAN album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.24 | 4 ratings

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Meridian II
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars As quirky as expected!

Meridian II is Phavian's second step in the 4-album series of their concept Meridian and the third studio album since their inception. Similar to their previous releases, this clocks around the 40-minute mark - it consists of six tracks, all quite different to each other but with one common mood: dark and quirky.

The compositions generally flow in a haunting atmosphere, driven by the lyrical concept, which is also depicted in the album's excellent cover artwork. From the first notes it is clear that this is not your typical prog metal album.

'Adam's Ale' is a beautiful folksy 3-minute track, totally driven by the voice of Elisabeth Matson with a remarkable acoustic guitar 'acompagnamento' that moves straight in 'Purl', with the listener almost not taking notice. There is a nice balance of acoustic guitars and low-tempo high-note electric guitars in the opening of this track, reminiscent of 90s atmospheric/experimental metal, with the vocals and an operatic background dominating the ambience. Midway through a more dynamic sequence of melodic riffs breaks the norm and continues to the closing of the track. 'Hexenring' kicks off quite unexpectedly, with an in-your-face untypical heavy riff and Elisabeth singing on high and obscure note sequences; galloping mid-tempo guitars and ever-changing themes comprise this rather unusual track, that seems to be have been born out of the quirkiness of To-Mera. This is by far the most 'difficult' track to digest, and this is aggravated by its relatively long duration.

The second half kicks off with a 4-minute piano 'interlude', deeply influenced by classical music (apparently part of the band's musical education); while not extravagant, it links quite nicely with 'Watersong', arguably the album's highlight. Having listened to it in their 2011 EP 'Foreword', I was positively surprised to find it here. Clean and distorted guitars playing on the minor scale remind heavily of Opeth's tactics but the vocals and the power metal riffing give this track both a more 'classical' and 'metallic' feeling respectively. The build up to the 5th's minute mid-tempo melodic refrain is worth the wait and the best that this album has to offer. Although not as impressive, the rest of the track keeps you on your toes with a variety of abstract vocal passages and avant-power metal riffs. The best description for 'Fall of Cruor' would be: an odd classical music track played with metal instruments. Here I could hear patterns that remind me of the masters of the style, Mekong Delta; however the female vocals again differentiate it from anything that you have listened to before, and although it does not leave me a feeling of satisfaction as the closing track, some of the elements of composition are simply stunning.

Meridian II is a weird combination of classical/avant-driven progressive metal with dark and brooding atmospheres. Female vocals are leading the game but sometimes it feels like they are over-done, mixed a notch higher than they should be or are just too quirky for the typical prog-metal fan. The production, though not weak overall, feels a bit thin especially on the drums. The ideas are there, there is a mix of melodic and harsher moments while one could argue that the long tracks extend just a bit more than they should have done.

If you like your prog-metal dark, quirky, weird and untypical, with female vocals not following the norm, then check this band. As this is only pt. 2 of the 4-part concept, I am personally expecting an even better release from Phavian in the future.

Many thanks go to Patrick from Phavian for making this album available for review!

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 Meridian I by PHAVIAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.24 | 6 ratings

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Meridian I
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Meridian I' - Phavian (7/10)

As I learned from this band's EP 'Foreword', Phavian are planning on a major four album concept piece. Considering that this band is still fairly new to the scene and listeners' ears, this is quite a bold statement, and even moreso to have released songs on that EP that are supposedly from albums that will tentatively be released a year or more away. The only question now is: can Phavian live up to their promises? 'Meridian I' is the first of this four part series, and the second album altogether to be released by the American group. Playing a style of melodic metal clearly influenced by Opeth, Phavian demonstrated some strong potential on 'Foreword', and the first album in the series continues to impress me.

Phavian's sound is still rough around the edges, but they manage to evade many stereotypes of progressive metal. The darkly melodies sounds of latter-era Katatonia come to mind here, although the female vocals of Elizabeth Matson seem to gear Phavian to an almost symphonic metal sound. As far as the influence of Opeth goes, it comes out most evidently in the guitar work. The climax 'Feldgrau' (which I first heard as a sample on 'Foreword') has a guitar sound and central riff that sounds like it could have been right out of Mikael Akerfeldt's songbook. The guitar solos throughout the album- particularly the one on the fourth track 'Tyrian'- are also very Opeth-like. Many of the riffs are quite beautiful, taking a lot of sound from doom metal. The only thing that seems to be keeping Phavian's melodies from leaping out of the speakers is the fact that the production is a little dull. The songwriting and musicianship is here, but the production and mixing sees the vocal work dominate over all other instruments. 'Meridian I' has many moments that would have blown me away, had I been able to hear them the way I think they would have been best mixed. Fear not, however; Phavian's composition is enough to keep a listener invested throughout.

Elizabeth Matson's vocals are not technically wild like many female metal vocalists' are, but she has a quasi operatic tone to her voice that compliments the music. Although hearing female vocals mixed with Opethian instrumentation is a somewhat recent trend to my ears, there are bands out there doing the same match-up; Effloresce comes to mind. At this point, 'Meridian I' is not enough to see if Phavian stands out from the rest, but it's enough for me to be impressed, and recommend them to any fan of dark metal.

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 Foreword by PHAVIAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.03 | 4 ratings

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Foreword
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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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 Meridian I by PHAVIAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.24 | 6 ratings

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Meridian I
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After having experienced their 'Foreword' EP, I am happy to own a copy of Phavian's second studio album entitled 'Meridian I', because it is an interesting approach to the band's sound, with a great experimentation in the progressive metal scene. Here, you will not find super fast rhythms or keyboard solos, you will find well-crafted compositions with a sound in moments closer to post-metal, and in others thanks to the female singer, a soft-melodic metal sound.

The album comprises six compositions that make a total time of 37 minutes. It kicks off with 'Slate' which is a five-minute instrumental track that introduces us to Phavian's sound. Though the rhythm does not really change, we can notice that it does progresses thanks to the different figures on the guitar, and the dynamism of the musicians in their respective instruments, you can better appreciate this with good headphones.

'Cobalt and Crimson' starts with a kind of dark atmosphere which is complemented /and maybe contrasted) by the entrance of the vocals. The guitar sound is very repetitive in the beginning, the rhythm a bit slow; later it makes a change, drums and guitars put a more effusive tone and the female voice makes a warm and mellow sound, worth mentioning that in some moments there is also a male voice. After three minutes the same repetitive sound as in the beginning returns for some seconds, but only to change once again. This is one of the pros of the song, it has several changes in time and mood, which let us know about the band's compositional skills. A remarkable moment is at minute five when there is a soft and beautiful theme which fades out in order to open the gates to the heaviest face of the band. 'Still the Grain' is one of the highlights of the album, with a dark atmosphere, excellent drums and a wonderful melody. Here I like a lot the piano and keyboards as background, while guitars crete that metal-oriented sound. In moments, this track reminds me to some Opeth passages, I don't know if they are an influence, but Phavian's sound in this song is particularly good. I would say this is my favorite track of the album, thanks to its complexity and that great first-instrumental part, which is complemented by female vocals after some minutes.

'Tyrian' is the longest song here, with ten minutes length. This track has also several inner changes, in time and mood, however they are perfectly exploded and conducted, so the song really flows and produces a quality result. Though the sound of the band is of course oriented to the metal, this female voice brings a mellow and soft sound that makes the music slow down its revolutions and produce a not-that-obvious metal product, hope I could express myself. So having a female vocalist here may be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on the listener's experience, I particularly like it. Returning to the song, there are very cool moments with excellent drums and some short guitar riffs. Overall this is also a great composition.

'Feldgrau' has a nice and dynamic rhythm that will easily make you enjoy it; the voice appears since the very first moments, the guitar is omniscient, the bass drop some good lines and the drums always (in the whole album, actually) have a potentially good sound. This track is also featured in their 'Foreword' EP, which by the way, gathers four songs from a four-CD concept that Phavian has created, and will develop in the next year. 'Meridian I' is the first part of that concept, the others will be revealed every six months each. This is something really ambitious, kudos for the band.

And the album finishes with its shortest track. 'Obsidian' is an instrumental three-minute song which shares the softest side of Phavian. This is a piano-based composition with a dark and gothic sound, pretty different from the previous tracks, and with a melancholic and sad sound that marks the epilogue of the album.

Good job, Phavian are a talented and tasty US band, however, I am sure they have still a lot to offer, so I will be waiting for their next works. My grade for this album will be 3 (and a half) stars.

Enjoy it!

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 Foreword by PHAVIAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.03 | 4 ratings

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Foreword
Phavian Progressive Metal

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!

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 Meridian I by PHAVIAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.24 | 6 ratings

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Meridian I
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I actually bought this band's first album "Kiena" some time ago, listened to it a few times and then pretty much forgot about it. When I happened to see that they had released a new album, I basically decided to buy it on a whim.

The album's opener, "Slate," sets a high bar for the rest of the album. It's an instrumental track, with a nice up-tempo feel that actually reminds me a little bit of a darker, harder edged Scale the Summit. It's a great opener and a great track overall.

Sadly, this excellence is not, in my opinion, continued. "Cobalt and Crimson" is an 8-minute track, and while a lot of longer songs don't have enough ideas to fill their duration, "Cobalt and Crimson" actually has too many. Motifs begin and end rapidly, with little development and not enough flow between them. We also get our first taste of the vocals here, which I personally find to be one of the weaknesses of the band. The female vocalist here has an excellent voice, but I simply don't find Phavian's vocal melodies very interesting. Worst of all is the ending. Normally I think fade-outs are a fine way to end a song, but due to the rapid jumping about in this song it sort of just seems like the song gives up and goes away with no real sense of resolution.

Happily, "Stil de Grain" sets the album again on an upwards trend. It's a much more post- metal sounding song, and because of that the slightly aimless vocal melodies work here. It's nothing terribly special but it's an enjoyable song.

The other long song of the album, "Tyrian" thankfully does not fall into the same problems as "Cobalt and Crimson." There are a lot of themes thrown in again, but they're given more room to develop and the flow between each of them is much, much better. Add to that a pretty solid guitar solo towards the end of the track and you've got proof that Phavian can certainly hold their own on longer tracks. Just makes me wish that "Cobalt and Crimson" had been a little better put-together.

"Feldgrau" is another strange one. It begins with another post-metal sounding section, similar to "Stil de Grain," but after a few minutes abruptly changes into a more uptempo part which closes out the song. Both of these parts are good, but they feel like different songs and I kind of wish they had been arranged so and developed a little more instead of combined in the way that they are.

"Obsidian" closes out the album with a nice little piano post-lude. It's a pretty track, but it seems a little out of place and I think it would have served its purpose much better had the rest of the album been more cohesive.

On the whole, I have the same problems with this album that I had with Kiena: I simply don't find it very interesting. The style just seems a little bit "thin," to me, as I find this kind of dark, slightly avant-sounding prog metal to be rather emotionless and cold, and without really spectacular songwriting a lack of emotion just makes these songs seem uninteresting. Add to this the (in my opinion) poor vocal melodies and even the short 37 minute duration feels a little long. Certainly not bad from a musical standpoint, and "Stil de Grain" and "Tyrian" are quite good, but I feel like this band still has a ways to go.

3/5

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 Foreword by PHAVIAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.03 | 4 ratings

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Foreword
Phavian Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

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.

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Thanks to Rune2000 for the artist addition.

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