• Metal Saves

Scaphoid - Absent Passages: Review

Something a little different for Metal Saves, some prog rock/metal, not a genre that's covered a whole lot around here. Austin, TX based artist Scaphoid return with their new record Absent Passages. The follow up to 2016's Dies Mercurii EP which releases October 9th via Shunu Records.

Billed primarily as a prog band, a more fitting label would be space rock with some psychedelic influences, but this record transcends genres and takes the listener on a journey through various plains and headspaces. A purely instrumental album, Absent Passages is best enjoyed in its entirety and has been seemingly designed in such a way, possibly a reflection on today's modern methods of consuming music by the track rather than by the album, or possibly that's reading too much into it.

The eight-track album shifts gears and perspectives with ease, lacing in elements usually reserved for stoner doom or psychedelic, Floyd-Esqe audio trips, and in some spaces even djent tones are evident. This plethora of sound is a true musical 'journey' and one best consumed without distractions in order to really dial into what the band is laying down.

With tracks as diverse as they are here, it's difficult to pick standouts and this doubles back to the point made earlier, that this record needs to be experienced from start to finish with no interruptions. It's this reason that means becomes imperative when talking about this record to refer to it as a whole piece of work and not a collection of tracks combined together.

While drawing from and paying homage to certain influences Absent Passages in no way leans into this too much, remaining very much its own project. Instead, it takes these influences and contorts them into something different, an alternative vision of what's possible in the genre and one that's unique to the band.

If you enjoy the works of Opeth, Rush, Floyd, or YOB then you should be eager to give this album a spin as it will resonate with each of those bands followers and beyond.

Rating: 8/10