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Appearance Of Nothing - In Times Of Darkness CD (album) cover

IN TIMES OF DARKNESS

Appearance Of Nothing

 

Progressive Metal

4.05 | 3 ratings

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TCat
4 stars The band "Appearance of Nothing" from Switzerland (formerly know as a mostly cover band called "No Thanx") has been around since 2004 and has released an EP and four full length studio albums. The band plays a Progressive Metal that consists of two guitarists, a keyboardist, bassist and drummer.

This album "In Times of Darkness", Omar Cuna, who is also the bassist, has always shared vocal duties with various other members of the band, but this time around, he is the only vocalist credited from the regular band. There are also a few guest vocalists that help out on this album, however, including a growler. This album was released in March of 2019 and has 8 tracks which have a total run-time of 54 minutes.

"Inside These Walls" is a decent opener that generates a bit of excitement for the album with plenty of progressive passages and heavy guitar and just the right touch of both keyboards and piano at the right places. Omar is a good enough vocalist with enough emotion to make it all believable. The guest growler voice is present in this track, but he only sings occasionally and it is always in tandem with Omar, so they are easier to tolerate. "The Black Sea" is a bit softer, but has a dark undertone. The music is more along the lines of a heavy rhapsody. The tone and intensity changes often and so do the meters, but it never gets overly complex. However, the growler does make some short appearances at the intense sections, but it is usually broken up by clean vocals. There is a nice and melodic guitar solo that is worth waiting around for though. The guest cellist also adds some nice heaviness to the bottom end of this track. At just about 10 minutes, this track delivers a lot of emotion and punch.

"Storm" features shared, lead vocals from Anna Murphy who adds some nice depth to the music. The song follows a heavy thumping drum and guitar riff, but also has a good amount of keyboards to keep it grounded. "Erase" starts out as a piano ballad and intensifies to a heavy progressive rocker. Emotional vocals, lyrics and melodies and powerful riffs make this a stand out track. "Deception" returns to a heavier tone and faster beat. It also has more growling vocals than the others before it, but even then, they are not overabundant. After 4 minutes, it calms down with an acoustic sound and rolling drums. A guitar solo comes in and builds the intensity back up again but the guitar continues to the end of the track.

"Disaster (Sweetest Enemy)" is a slower, pensive track and features dual vocals of Omar and guest vocalist Devon Graves. As expected, things do intensify, but this one is another great track with another great guitar solo and is more ballad-like. "Lost" features the return of guest vocalist Anna Murphy. Though it has a fast beat to it, it is a bit mellower than most of the tracks. Again Omar and Anna share lead vocals. The song is based around a fast keyboard riff and thumping guitars. "The Huntress" closes the album with another 9+ minute track. This one also starts out less heavy and again is more driven by keyboards, but with a fast rhythm on the verses and slowing on the chorus. A heavier attack combining the organ and guitar starts at the 4 minute mark, and soon, more growling vocals come in. After this though, there is a killer keyboard solo. The song goes into another section where a fast march carries us into a guitar solo with rapid fire notes and then climaxing, and then back to the original chorus and a stately coda to end it all.

This is a very good Progressive Metal album with a lot of variety and just the right mix of heavy guitar and keyboard to keep things interesting. The use of the guest vocalists help provide good depth and variety to the sound, and even the growling vocals aren't so bad because they are, for the most part, used to enhance and not to describe the music. All of the musicians are in great form and the vocals are perfect for the music with good range and plenty of emotion. This makes for an excellent album that could have been even better with a bit of ingenuity, but all in all, it is quite entertaining and exciting.

TCat | 4/5 |

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