Apeiron Bound – Multiplicity
Apeiron Bound is a Florida-based progressive metal band formed in 2018. They are a five-piece set that features some of the best and brightest stars of today as guests, including Angel Vivaldi, Jon Pyres, and Joshua Corum, to name but a few. Beyond the progressive metal, there are elements of power, symphonic, technical, and heavy metal. There are also features outside of heavy metal; Arabic tones and jazz textures, and cinematic themes. There is a complexity that is beyond anything average or standard. This is boundary-pushing at its’ finest.
- Andrew Stout – Guitars/Programming/Backing Vocals
- Michael Calza – Vocals
- Phillip Colacecchi – Guitars
- Peter Albert de Reyna – Bass (Session)
- Guest Musicians:
- John Pyres (Threads Of Fate) – Guest Pianos/Synths (Thought & Memory)
- Angel Vivaldi – Guitar Solo (Eleutheromania)
- Frank Sacramone (Earthside) – Co-Composer (Melancholic Zen & Chaotic Fervor)
- Steven Mundinger (Lykanthrope) – Co-Composer (Precocious Tribalism)/Synths (Emotive Servitude)
- Joshua Corum (Head With Wings) – Guest Vocals (Absent Familiarity)/Choirs
- Rich Gray (Annihilator/Aeon Zen) – Guitar/Saxophone Solo (Era In Fenim // Novis Iniitis)
- Cassandra Calo – Choirs
- Brent Jernigan – Choirs
- Brandon Delpino – Choirs
- Galloway – Synth/Backing Vocals/Programming
Apeiron Bound will release their debut album, Multiplicity, on August 26, 2022, via Layered Reality Productions.
- Astral Projection
- Thought & Memory
- Melancholic Zen
- My Sweet Stockholm
- Precocious Tribalism
- Emotive Servitude
- Absent Familiarity
- Chaotic Fervor
- Astral Reflection
- Era in Finem // Novis Initiis
The album opens with a quick instrumental, “Astral Projection.” Blowing winds and gentle strings lead to keyboards and piano, bringing us to the point of launch for the track “Thought & Memory.” The ambient tones are relaxing and include a bevy of beautiful strings and wind instruments. Everything builds slowly, gently working its’ way up to where it needs to be to properly set off the rest of the disc.
With “Thought & Memory,” you immediately get the progressive metal drumming and melodic guitar work that will be revisited throughout the disc to tie the whole thing together. The progressive work does not stop with the drums, though. The shift into the lyric portion of the song is a transcendent piece of prog metal. The lyrics then carry on with some interesting thoughts. There is a breaking free in words, escaping from the confinements of time and memories. Meanwhile, the music goes from the brutal torment of a chaotic mind to the peaceful realization that freedom is on the horizon.
The next track, “Eleutheromania,” is a wild ride through incredible musicianship. There is a bass lead that is just astonishing. The shifts in the guitars, from the choppy entry to the heavy riffing to the guitar/key futuristic Arabesque phrasing, are incredible. The complexity of this song is almost shocking. The vocals go from clean to harsh and back, sometimes within the same line. This is the revolution. This is the change, the shift to something new. Life is to begin anew. The past has been buried, and freedom is on the horizon. The two critical parts of this song are no great surprise if you know anything about the musicians performing them. There is a guitar solo by the legendary Angel Vivaldi, followed by the bass solo from Peter De Reyna. I did not realize this much beauty could be in one song.
After the stunning progressive work of “Eleutheromania,” we have a relaxing session of “Melancholic Zen,” a two-and-a-half-minute breather. There are dark undertones on the left end of the piano, offset by the lighter right hand playing. Add a little keyboard and drums, and the lead-in to the next track is complete.
“My Sweet Stockholm” opens with a harp and the promise of a roller coaster ride. At eight minutes long, you know this will be epic prog metal. After the peaceful intro, the guitars shatter the silence. This riff is brutal, and the rhythm is punishing. Then, there are melodic sections that hear the harsh vocals go clean. Lyrically, this is an abuser and abused in a horribly co-dependent relationship. Here, that phenomenon is compared to Stockholm Syndrome, where a hostage begins to identify their captor, maybe even strive to help. From a psychological point of view, they are much the same.
At seven minutes, “Firmament” is another long track with many progressive elements. The vocals go from harsh to clean, and the rhythms go from gentle and curious to heavy and contemplative. Again, the lyrics are heavily metaphorical. Is space exploration merely extreme escapism? The riff is occasionally broken up by little flourishes from the drums, vocals, and lead guitar work. The shifts in phrases are pretty intense as well, going from a punishing riff/rhythm combo to an ambient, new age section.
The following instrumental/transition is “Precocious Tribalism.” As expected, the rhythm has a distinctly tribal feel, providing another opportunity for the whole album to shift to the next phase. At only 50 seconds, this is the shortest song, but it does have the impact of helping the whole thing change gears.
From that interlude, we go to “Emotive Servitude,” a significant piece of work in the overall picture painted by this record. Lyrically, this track is more about how giving up your own power for the greater good of society ultimately creates a loss of identity for not only you but everyone. To me, it feels like a criticism of groupthink, which we see so much of recently with the polarization of society. We’ve become us versus them on so many fronts (religion, partisan politics, nationalism, wearing masks) that it seems society is now bi-polar. Musically, the shifts from heavy to melodic symbolize that in an incredibly dramatic and complex way.
Another style change is seen with the intro for “Absent Familiarity.” Here, we get an almost techno section to start the song. Of course, there is a shift to heavier, but then there are a series of rises and falls, turns to melodic, and tempo changes. The longest song at nine minutes, this is the prog masterpiece of the disc. Lyrically, it’s about the struggle to maintain a façade. There is some severe denial at work here, so I equate that with addiction and manipulation.
There is also the narcissistic need to be right and the destruction of all held dear because it cannot be the fault of the self-engrossed. There is even a brief interlude of peace, which only happens when the narcissist meets someone new who believes the image. That will be a brief respite but a welcome relief to one who needs the break from the fight to hold it all together.
“Chaotic Fervor” is actually a bit of a surprise. The track is mostly electronic in feel. There is a lot of dread and gloom. The lyrics are spoken word and seem to be Chaos taunting the calmness of Zen. The warning klaxon tones in the background alert the listener to the danger of following Chaos, but are they even truly listening? Do we ever heed the warning signs?
In “Astral Reflection,” we get harsh and clean vocals again, now seeming to be the voices of Zen and Chaos. They’ve become somewhat personified by this point. Zen appears to be represented by the Asian/Middle Eastern tones, while Chaos is now fully backed by some of the heaviest riffs on the album. Strings and horns mix into the areas between heaviness, creating more peace and offsetting the anger created by Chaos. The musical phrases here are variations of earlier themes, bringing the record full circle.
The album concludes with “Era In Finem – Novis Initiis.” There is a piano to open the song, along with birds chirping. Wind instruments join, then strings. Finally, the build truly begins. With the horns, the cello and the harp set the next swell. There are more falls, rises, and a final crescendo to bring this epic journey to an end. It feels incomplete, only in that there is no clear winner. There is no hero to claim victory. Does this mean there is a part two? Or are we just waiting to see how it all plays out in Ukraine and Washington D.C., in the states versus the federal government, within families with different opinions on who should rule the world?
Apeiron Bound did not write a concept album, but they did write a record that has distinct themes and ideas. They executed this with incredible skill, with finesse and brutality, shouted angst and quiet eloquence. There is the dark and the light on this album. There is also love and hate, Zen and Chaos, individualism and communalism. This is a diorama that reflects the world as it is today. This album holds up a mirror to the world and lets them know what they sound like when they argue their political fanaticism.
It took me weeks to digest this album. Anyone who thinks they know what all it has to say in a single or even a few listens is either a savant or misguided. This is a complex album lyrically and musically. I studied the lyrics and listened over and over to where they were placed and how they were emphasized. I’ve decided this is a freaking masterpiece. I feel what I hear. That is the mark of an outstanding album.
Musically, this is one of the most ambitious records I’ve ever heard, especially for a debut. The tempo and time signature changes are drastic in some places and subtle in others. The musicianship is far beyond anything you hear on radio channels today. This rivals some of the greatest progressive rock and metal of the last 50 years. There is so much to hear, feel, explore, and discover on this record. I’m just incredibly glad it exists and that Aperion Bound dared to push the boundaries this far.
- Guitars – 10
- Rhythms – 10
- Vocals – 10
- Songwriting – 10
- Production – 10
- Overall – 10