Artist: Amyr Abadawn
Album: The Next Chapter
Label: Exuism Record
Release Date: December 23rd, 2022
Collaborative solo multi-instrumentalist and composer Amyr Abadawn presents the latest installment in his series of symphonic, progressive metal albums. Each release tells the story of another chapter in his ongoing saga, with The Next Chapter following his 2021 album The New Chapter.
Amyr takes a unique approach to the symphonic elements of his music, focusing heavily on Middle Eastern instrumentals, melodies and influences. These elements are intrinsic to his music and give it the distinctive sound and energy that helps to set him apart from his contemporaries. This uniqueness is elevated further through his heavy focus on the progressive metal elements that make up so much of the album. He works in numerous other styles of music ranging from black and death to gothic and traditional heavy metal. I honestly can’t say that I’ve heard another artist whose music sounds quite the same.
What’s most important to note about this release is that the vocals on each track are performed by different guest vocalists. Amyr is a song writer and musician and is responsible for creating the music on the album, however it draws on an impressive pool of guests to handle all vocal elements and to bring unique instrumental flourishes when needed. This was an excellent decision as it really allows each track to develop its own completely unique sound depending on who has vocal duty. You’ll hear everything from black and death metal vocals, to clean operatic/gothic, to barked/shouted vocals and everything in between.
Because I mentioned the album’s extreme metal elements I think I should clarify that for me personally I don’t listen to music like this because of how “raw” or “aggressive” it is. I listen to it for its impressive instrumentation, song writing ability and its unique atmosphere. If you’re a black or death metal fan that doesn’t like clear production and has to have distortion and feedback, then this simply isn’t the album for you. That isn’t to say that there aren’t harsh or aggressive elements, just that they aren’t the primary focus of the album.
Given the huge variety on display throughout the album it was no easy choice on favourite tracks. If we’re talking harsher tracks with more bite I would probably go with Samyaza (Feat. Sabazious Majusiah) Goddess Of War (Feat. Syarm Javer) and No future, Without the Present (Feat. Kathir Rudra), with the latter being my favourite track on the album thanks to Kathir Rudra‘s vocals, which honestly remind me of a cross between Sakis Tolis and Nick Holmes. As far as instrumental tracks go, I would say The Desert Fire (Feat. Wønder Wøøds) is a real standout for me. As far as clean vocals go, I found Setelah Kita (Feat. Kraton &amp;amp; Wønder Wøøds)to be very interesting with its male and female vocal back and forth. My favourite clean vocal track though would have to be Im Not Angel (Feat. Dagon), there’s an epic quality here and Dagon’s vocals really make an impact.
Overall I think this is a fantastic release and a unique one at that. I love seeing artists bring together other artists to create a varied and yet cohesive vision. It takes someone special to make a project like this work and Amyr has shown that not only is he an immensely talented musician, but he knows how to execute a grand vision and unify artists from varied musical backgrounds. I would say that he is an artist that we should all be keeping our eyes on in the future, big things are coming.
Listen to and order the album: