Ontario, Canada natives Æpoch are excited to announce their latest release, a five-song EP called Hiraeth, which is set for release on Friday, September 10th. Hiraeth serves as the follow-up to the group’s well-received 2020 EP, The Scryer.
The group says:
This EP is a concept story about an unnamed protagonist awakening in a post-apocalyptic type world with no memory of his past or how he got there. He begins to wander in the desolate wasteland desert for days without any food or clean water. His body and mind grow weak from malnutrition and he begins to hallucinate. He eventually stumbles upon what appears to be fertile land. He sees a looming and eerie silhouette of some sort of decrepit totem. He becomes fixated on the monument.
As approaches, he gazes upon its carved trunk he notices the foul smell from all around him. This is the smell of the decaying flesh of those who walked this path before him, their minds consumed by the demonic spirit of the monolith. This creature, we call “The god of rot” in the songs and the god of rot infects the mind of its victims, enthralling them to its will. The god of rot feeds off of the life source of its victims by having them sacrifice themselves once they are fully enthralled in a way similar to seppuku (Japanese samurai ritual suicide) and dress its limbs in their innards before they expire. The cover art depicts our protagonist approaching the god of rot.
Æpoch are one of those bands always looking to challenge perceptions and Hiraeth is no different. A technical death metal sensory assault, the handful of tracks they feature here have variety and challenge.
Kicking off with a short burst of intense, heavy and fast instrumental technicality (Atonement) and followed by a ruthless and hyperactive thumping in the form of Amensia. The guest vocals of Alustrium’s Jerry Martin are particularly harsh but fit the furious arrangement perfectly.
The speed of Æpoch’s playing is startling, so much so, that the subtle changes in tempo in Overwrought stand out. The band packing so much detail into a track that doesn’t even last two and a half minutes.
Bearing that mind, imagine how wild and varied the lengthier final two tracks are? The Flesh Totem conveys the horror that the concept suggests and delivers a slab of ruthlessness that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Whereas the title track and the EP finale combines a bludgeoning style of percussion with razor sharp guitars and phlegm-covered vocals.
Æpoch – Hiraeth Full Track Listing:
2. Amnesia (Ft. Alustrium Vocalist Jerry Martin)
4. The Flesh Totem
Æpoch - Hiraeth (Self Released)
The Final Score - 9/10