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Phavian - Meridian I CD (album) cover

MERIDIAN I

Phavian

 

Progressive Metal

3.24 | 6 ratings

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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!

memowakeman | 3/5 |

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