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Alpheidae | ‘The I In All’

It’s generally not my place to wonder why, when it comes to band names.

But I couldn’t help noticing that Alpheidae is the name of a shrimp whose main gig in life is having one claw much bigger than the other. The Pistol Shrimp, it’s known as.

It has some pretty impressive skillz, in being able – with this one massive comedy claw – to create a sonic boom underwater (check it out), stunning its prey before dragging it into a watery tomb for some Cannibal Corpse dinner action.

Dont say you learn nothing on MI.

Anyway, this quirk of bio-mechanical awesomeness tells us a little about the band that are its namesake. Alpheidae, you see, have a pretty stunning effect themselves.

They know how to use air. Pressure. Force.

Their interlock of guitar, bass, drums and indeed vocals is such that it forces bursts of power forward not so much into your eardrums, but your face. You know, like when bands just have it down.

Tight As Atheos

I dont think I’ve heard some Irish tech metal as cool and tight as this since Atheos, and certainly there’s a lot in common here.

They’ve practised so hard that they’re like glue with each other, meaning that when the (fantastic) rhythm guitar goes walkies, it does so in the full knowledge that the rest of the band are in unison at the back.

And indeed it is the rhythm guitar that is the star of this show, in all its variety of voices.

I can hear the likes of Aghora and Textures in here, as well as some of the better Djent names.

‘Altruist’ and ‘City of Knives’ do well to establish what’s a common theme across this demo – a sort of skippy insistence from the main guitar that pushes the rest onward in terms of seemingly prodded beats nudging forward where they wouldnt otherwise.

This culminates in the absolutely, flat out brilliant ‘The I In All’, where this technique is taken to its height – that pressing, incessant skip beat forward placed first over some nice tinkling clean notes, then some decidedly Frantic Bleep style lead tickles (remember them?) before resolving into some quite amazing chords with a pacing double kick beneath.

So, so cool.

Fluid As Faceless

‘New Beginning’ could be off the last Faceless album, so fluidly does that lead guitar lick its way, before climbing and descending staircases of riffery.

There is so much to love about Alphidae – their whole approach, whether its that airily percussive force that I talked about at the start, their energy, their chord choices, the freedom with which the guitar is able to both direct and colour events (and again, it’s the star here) or just their general intuition for what the right thing is in a song.

They’re working at a damn high level for a debut release, and there really isnt too much more they can really do to improve except to do more of this.

The vocals could be a tad more immersive – as ever, harmonies would work wonders, but there’s not really a great deal else to ask. ‘New Beginning’ shows where they can go when they want to: there should have been much more of this style.

It’s nothing short of fantastic however, and deserves to be heard by everyone. A class tech metal workout, and another great set of Irish musicians to be boasting about.

Total, tech metal quality.

Earl Grey ::: 08/09/16

  1. That song bores me and the vocals are crap…as for the band ATheos they blew me away live and on cd.

  2. The review of the band bores me also..Over the top

  3. open face surgery Says:

    Yup. Says a lot really.

  4. fuckin amazing song I can’t wait for the ep

  5. Some of the best metal to come out of Ireland recently, I expect these guys to go really far. Saw them in the finals of Metal 2 The Masses once.

  6. As ever, individual songs dont do justice to the flow and progression – and other songs – of a full release.

    It is an excellent EP.

  7. Not for me. Once the vocals kicked in I couldn’t find the stop button quick enough. Like an aural tasering.

  8. Black Shepherd Carnage Says:

    The actual musicians probably shouldn’t have gotten their “cool” mate to be the lyricist and frontman. I probably would have gotten slightly further without the video: not quite the brand of bushy twat on white couch action I normally go in for.

  9. ‘My voice can not be heard’

    It can yeah…on every Lamb Of God album.

  10. The nervous lad on the left looks like he’s regretting this video already and rightly so. I suppose it was the knob who’s singings idea as it’s mostly him in every shot.

  11. Angel of Debt Says:

    That’s grand really, bar the white couch and table bits.
    Very lamb of god on the vocals alright, but tightly played and nice little lead parts, grand.

  12. Seems to be getting much harsher criticism than it deserves. The video ain’t great and the music isn’t my bag but the lads can really play. Some serious riffs in there. I don’t listen to this style so I don’t know how it holds up against other bands of their ilk but it certainly sounds like they know what they are at.

  13. How technically proficient they are as musicians doesn’t really interest me tbh, as there are no end of tech wizards out there these days, masters of their instruments (at least within the confines of a given genre) and at an alarmingly young age. I listened through again and yes these guys can clearly play and the song structure etc shows they have the ability to put some thought into where they’re going but there’s a certain sound that’s just been done to absolute death, so much so that I find it painful to listen to. It’s like a car alarm to me. It’s not that the vocals are bad per se just that I’ve heard them 1000 times before. I’ve heard this song countless times at this stage. Soilwork are probably the closest thing to this sort of stuff I used to listen to, I get the ‘Faceless’ comparison too and liked ‘Planetary duality’ when it came out…but my tolerance for this style is at an all time low. I’m sure the band will keep playing whatever does it for them, which is all that counts when push comes to shove.

  14. brianwilliams82 Says:

    I don’t think the band were compared to Atheos musically, just the fact that both bands are tech-y, tight, Irish and pretty much came out of nowhere. Yes, the singer looks about as 2016 as it’s possible to get with his beard but why pick on that? It’s the normal twentysomething look these days. But yes, the ‘funny’ couch bits really should have been left out. An outside influence wouldn’t have hurt here.

    I think it’s quite decent but that’s coming from someone who’s only scratching the surface of this whole ‘djent’ thing. Maybe it is a worn-out style but I like the song. I didn’t get any kind of ‘here we go again’ vibe from the riffs as so often happens with new bands. I do also like that LOG-style clear enunciation but it’s true that it leaves any kind of lyrical dodginess very exposed. The singer would do well to remember that in future.

  15. Nice production and some great talent in the band but it seems as thought their yet to really find their own creative stride yet as everything about the song posted is a little too familiar and nothing particularly stands out.

    Vocals could stand to be maybe a little more diverse but if their trying to hit that lamb of god, not so but still main stream vibe I guess it makes sense. Many of their influences really stand out possibly too much.

    The video seems to try and attempt and hit that SOAD style humour but doesn’t quite hit it but fair play to them for trying something different and not conforming to the standard metal I take myself too serious shite.

    Plenty of talent there though and if they stick at it could really come out with some good stuff.

  16. 2016 bro metal

  17. This is the peril of the attention deficit age. The video above is nowhere near the best song on the EP – so much so that I barely passed over this track with a single sentence if you actually read the review.

    They do themselves no favours with the video either, but that’s what they’ve done and that’s what they’ve chosen to present to the world.

    Here’s a thought. Come back in a month when the full EP will presumably be on Bandcamp or whatever and reassess your initial misgivings.

    Maybe they’ll stand up. But I bet the wider demo will be found to be vastly more impressive than just this track.

  18. Early Grey in song posted at the bottom of the review is not the best song shocker.

    Absolutely trash

  19. If that’s all a band puts out it’s all there is to work with. Your solution?

  20. I really enjoyed the song and if that is considered a weaker track then I am really looking forward to the full ep. I also have no interest in what they look like at all just their music. Not to harp on the fact but gikers they can play!

  21. Some pretty harsh criticisms flying. I’d have to agree on the video comments. But there’s not a whole lot wrong with the track itself, taking into account the style their going for.

    The EP definitely works better as a whole.
    The closing section of the final track ‘New Beginning’ is excellent.

    Going by the amount of responses to the review, the band are certainly causing a bit of a stir. So are definitely on the right track.

    Keep it up, Lads!

  22. Seen these boys live plenty of times, great energy from the frontman the lead guitarist has some chops, theres no clean vocals in that video but the one criticism i can tive

  23. The video’s a bit naff but the song is chock full of great riffs and drumming. The vocals are well executed but I’m in agreement with the person above in that we’ve heard it a thousand times before.
    I’d definitely hit a gig if they were playing nearby.

    Fairly amazing how far Irish metal bands have come. If this band appeared 10 years ago they would have been lauded as the best act on the island.

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