When you are feeling down, sometimes you just want to put on your headphones, lock the door and draw yourself into seclusion. Music has a way of speaking to the emotions in a way that no other medium can, it’s just a fact. This is especially true of those who are feeling down, as many reach out to their favorite bands music, to help them cope with what’s going on. Rochester’s Aphasia has created an entire album, aptly-titled Seclusion, devoted to those in need and it begs to be heard. Primarily a metalcore band, they also have clear influences from the deathcore, djent and even punk genres.
The album fades into the opening track, “Indulgence” with a clean guitar riff, followed up by some djent-style chugging and the faint, almost ethereal low growls from the band’s vocalist, Jake. Throughout the near-four minute duration of this track, we get a sense of just how talented he is at his craft. Starting off with some low growls, he transitions into mid-range and high screams, effortlessly. This track probably serves as the heaviest on the album, in terms of a musical sense with extreme emphasis on drummer John and the rhythm section, namely bassist Matt and no clean vocals.
Emphasis is placed on the guitar harmonies between lead and rhythm guitarists, Ryan and Mike, when the second track, “Dismal” begins. Fading in, creating a lot of atmosphere before Jake comes in with his vocals. This time, he showcases his clean vocals in the chorus and we find that he has a higher range, in that regard. This track is still pretty heavy but it’s more riff-laden than its predecessor.
The fourth track on the album, “Division” is probably one of, if not, my favorite tracks on the album due to the way that the emotion is conveyed into it, in a sense of melody over aggression. It’s just under two-minute length could mean that it’s meant to serve as an interlude but it’s so beautiful and I refuse to call it anything but an integral part of the album itself.
The title track, “Seclusion,” once again finds you focused on the melody of the guitars. The pristine mixture of melody and aggression, both musically and vocally, are what will likely make this track a fan favorite. Just as swiftly as you’re hit with a devastating volley of screams, you’re balanced out with a lot of guitar harmony and clean vocals. I wouldn’t quite call this track atmospheric but there’s something surrounding it that can’t be ignored.
The album closes with “Linger” and, before you ask, no this isn’t a Cranberries cover. The main riff on this track is something I’ve found myself humming quite a few times, involuntarily, which speaks to its ability to get stuck in your head. Like its predecessor, this track balances aggression and melody quite well. The guitar melodies create an atmosphere that you find yourself wrapped in, as it pounds its way toward the finish line.
Lyrically, the album speaks to a variety of situations which range from finding your purpose, when you’re at your lowest, to loss and betrayal. It really is an album rooted in finding the positive side of a negative situation and is specifically designed for those who feel they’ve lost their way. Seclusion is probably one of the best, nostalgic-sounding (i.e. mid-2000’s) metalcore albums I’ve heard this year and it’s clear that these guys have a bright future ahead of them. Be sure to check out Seclusion and secure your own copy, physically, via the band’s BigCartel page or digitally via iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc.