Artist: Ambient Death
Title: “Time Eclipse”
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Melodic Death/Progressive Metal
Rating: Very Good
Growing up Metal in an area like Brooklyn, NY cannot always be easy for a fan of the stuff these days as the diversity of the region often finds either Pop drivel or Rap are the musical forms that hold sway on mainstream outlets and offer little interest to those who crave the sound of something far heavier. Fortunately being underground is the seed upon which Metal’s enormous tree had been planted and there are bands of all genre aspects hungry to have you hear what they can do. One such band is Brooklyn’s own Ambient Death, and I admit that the name first intrigued me based on my initial perceptions of this very same genre. It’s not often that one finds a group using the same nom de guerre as a musical style after all so when the chance came to absorb what they were all about I looked forward to the chance. The unsigned group is led and was founded by guitarist/vocalist/guitar synth Lucas Klepacki and their EP “Time Eclipse” features five tracks (six if you count the hidden number). The EP is an equal a mix of instrumental interlude or setup pieces and full on vocal tracks giving the listener three of each type. It all begins with “Flash”, a keyboard heavy intro ala Van Halen’s “1984” that definitely takes you on a journey of its own before “Manhunt” begins. Interestingly enough the band is NOT your conventional Death or Thrash fest and seems to owe a lot more of their vibe to the likes of Iron Maiden and even some Progressive acts of note based on the overall musical ability that they are presenting the listener.
The group on the recording is a three-piece unit with Riyaad Edoo on the bass and Jaimen Shinn on drums and both are solid players for their young age and prove to impress. I found one downside with some of the production as while fine for the guitar and keys work is a tad lacking in the drum area and as result finds Shinn too far in the background. One can make out some cool fills over the riffing, but it’s not as “big” in the final mix which is a shame since it worked quite well and he has some chops. Since the EP’s initial release, a second guitarist has been added in Chris Carten. We do need to remember that this is still an unsigned band with a limited budget, but they raise the bar just the same. “Death Panorama” is another interlude piece and I loved this one as it called to mind a darker and more ominous Pink Floyd feel. It leads you into “Crusades” which has a lot of intricate lead work over a crunching riff structure. The band sets mood up very effectively over the course of these few tracks without question. I found that Klepacki has an interesting voice and while he growls as opposed to doing melodic clean styles, the studio effects combined with his dramatic phrasing makes him standout a little bit more than others who do similar things. You can understand the lyrics and even read along since the guys provide them on the beautifully presented packaging. It’s a foldout digipak with artwork, lyrics and a band photo.
I was happy to find that an up and coming potential great act is right here in my hometown and that it shows such promise instead of being more of the same thing. If you are a fan of solid musical ability and well crafted song structures I am hard pressed to think you would turn away this one. Come on Brooklyn, there has to be more like this out there based on all the influences that come through town to tour. The Ambient Death CD is available through their site and the obvious MySpace page and also through I-Tunes, so use sponsored links to help them along. Good job guys, see you at the top. Make sure to check this one out.
3. Death Panorama
5. Time Eclipse
Official Website: www.ambientdeath.com