I was rather impressed with the debut album Memento Mori, back in 2016 from these French melodic death metallers, and they have finally released a follow up in Prokopton, and no surprise, it’s just as impressive and consistent as the debut.

Again with a sound heavily rooted in the string/synth-heavy, brighter, bouncy tones of early Children of Bodom and Kalmah, and clear nods to the glory days on the style; the early/mid 90s, these guys (and gal-vocalist Marion Bascoul) deliver 8 tracks and 44 minutes of crisp melodic death metal with a bit of a despondent undertone, though not as prevalent as the debut and do it really well with well used synths and supine melodic guitar work.

The opening trio of “Prokopton”, “The Sovereign” and “Dissonance Within”  is a sheer delight, and going to be hard to match as far as opening salvos of songs in 2019, especially standout “The Sovereign” with its catchy last half, and the 4-minute mark on in “Dissonance Within”. Truly wonderful stuff for 17 minutes.

The rest of the album has a high bar to reach, but it’s all really good stuff. From the more fierce opening blast of and clean vocals of the fourth track, “Snowblind” through the early Dark Tranquillity shimmery dance of “Back Again” and “Bloodline” (which also has a short-lived but fucking epic blastbeat),  to the epic 9-minute closer ” If I Should Die”, where the band’s despondency surfaces a little more, these guys are just consistent (even down to the Niklas Sundin artwork on both albums, also big in the scene in the 90s), and know their sound and influence perfectly.

For those looking for a throwback to the likes of Skyfire, Ebony Tears, Lothlorien, Embraced, Embracing, as well as the more big names from the era, Aephanemer is a band that could have been on Black Mark Records, and you should check them out right now.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 8th, 2019


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