Epitaphe Create a Mesmerizing New World On “II” (Early Album Stream)
'Immersive' just barely begins to describe it: on their sophomore album II, the French death/doom band Epitaphe draw listeners into an entirely separate reality of their own creation. With three nearly 20 minute long tracks forming the core of the album, II's sprawling opuses meld death and doom metal with elegant excursions into progressive rock and even ambient elements. As the nearly-unending slew of cryptic riffs and pummeling barrages erode any connections to the outside world, II offers unexpectedly vivid moments of softer beauty alongside its capacity for blistering aggression. Epitaphe doesn't just trade off between loud and soft, though, combining their seemingly disparate sounds into a fully out-of-body experience. Listen to the whole thing now with our early stream.
Above all else, Epitaphe practices the sublime art of death metal, and on II they flaunt an incredibly dense and aggressive style; the utmost peaks of intensity on the album come with almost indecipherably complex riffs and thundering drum fills. It's knotty, murky, and can't be untangled, so when the band winds down into funereal doom dirges or experiments with prog and folk textures, a curious combination of both relief and tension results. Every aspect of the album's sound is fully developed in its own right: a carved-out album that was just the death metal side of this would be just as intriguing as one that was completely focused on progressive rock. On II, Epitaphe takes their excellence in these entirely separate fields and distills it all into massive compositions that defy the notion that there was ever a separation in the first place.
The band comments:
Our new record « II » certainly begins from the point at which we left things with « I », in all that might be implied and assumed in terms of familiarity, but equally within the paradigms of evolution and development. The album continues our immersion in the realms of abrasive death metal, melded with explorative progressive structures and eerie sonorities.
We delved further into all aspects of these facets of our music, and this culminated with our fastest and most intricate death metal riffs to date, standing next to, and contrasting with lighter atmospheric moments ; amalgamations of ambient, progressive rock, folk and jazz-like influences. The whole album is a long journey with shifting variations, changing moods and transgressions of dynamics. It is visceral, but at the same time soothingly contemplative.
The writing, arranging and recording of "II" was an enthralling process for Epitaphe, we hope you’ll get as much from listening to this album as we did creating it.
II releases April 11th via Aesthetic Death (CD) and Gurgling Gore (tape).