Aphotic - _Stillness Grows_
(Flood the Earth, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Aphotic are an American atmospheric death metal band that has been toiling in the shadows of the unsigned underground for several years now -- its demos earning high marks and vast praise while record labels strangely looked the other way. This disc unites all three demos the band has recorded to date, including the very limited _Stillness Grows_, and sees the light of day courtesy of Flood the Earth Records.

Aphotic's gloomy atmospheric death has a sound of its own -- and finding a young band who doesn't borrow heavily from well-known acts is not an easy task. This isn't to say there aren't some similarities to established artists, but Aphotic show a great deal of personality on every demo. The songs have an understated catchiness and strength to their riffs, which are helped along by unobtrusive background synths. The death vocals are relatively clear and well-integrated with the music, while the drumming plays a competent but secondary role throughout (only the last demo features a human drummer).

While I understand the reasons why the band or label decided to have the EPs in reverse chronological order (which may help put the latest material under the spotlight), it might have been interesting to hear the evolution in the band's sound reflected directly on the disc. This is debatable though, and the quality of all three demos remains high throughout; their sound quality is also sufficiently even to avoid any significant continuity flaws.

Fans of doom and atmospheric death metal should definitely seek this release and hope that it will prove to be a sign of better things to come for Aphotic. There is great talent and personality in this band, and it would be a shame to waste such potential.

Contact: http://www.aphoticdeath.com

(article published 29/7/2004)

1/14/2002 P Azevedo Aphotic: Darkness Enclosing
3/21/2003 P Azevedo 5 Aphotic - Stillness Grows
1/14/2002 D Rocher 5 Aphotic - Under Veil of Dark
1/10/2001 D Rocher 5 Aphotic - Aphotic
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