Scaphoid – Absent Passages CD (Shunu Records)

Scaphoid - Absent Passages CD - Shunu Records

Scaphoid is a progressive metal/post-rock act originating from Austin, Texas. This characteristic outlet is an alias of Matt Hobart, who’s fully responsible for writing, composing, and tremendous performance throughout the entire album. Absent Passages is his debut full-length recording comprised of eight profoundly detailed compositions. Previously, Scaphoid released Dies Mercurii, an extended play consisted of four numbers performed in the same manner. Four years have passed between these recordings, and Absent Passages showcases particular innovations, which are certainly improving the aesthetics of this characteristic progressive metal/post-rock act. Nevertheless, Matt Hobart progresses even deeper into the foundations of the beforementioned genres by sticking to the already proven formula, decorated by some technically advanced additions.

Absent Passages appears as an exceptionally written/composed storyline, separated into eight complex numbers. This storyline bounds these compositions through frequent aesthetics, articulations, and other similarities closely connected to the performance of the artist. Scaphoid showcases delicate explorations into progressive metal, progressive rock, and post-rock that are quite common throughout the entire recording. These explorations are planned to the tiniest detail, and each theme differs almost entirely from another but shares some familiar atmosphere, which is present during the complete album. Besides the predominant presence of progressive metal and post-punk, you may also hear that Scaphoid relies upon the pleasant ambiance that pervades from every possible direction. The polyphonous beauty of Absent Passages is laying deep down in the specific combination of all these elements, merged all together in perfect harmony.

Absent Passages demonstrates Scaphoid’s admiration towards progressive music, layered by the significant space rock vibe. This striking space rock ambiance perfectly suits the essentials of progressive metal, progressive rock, and post-rock. The generous portions of studio reverb and delay effects are layering these maneuvers with pleasant echoic tones, which are giving more depth to the overall listening experience. Guitars are offering a high variety of thoughtfully composed themes, mainly showcased through arpeggiated chord progressions, beautiful harmonizations, delicate solos, and other compelling virtuosities. The robust sounds of rhythm guitar are supporting these virtuosities through almost sludgy, djent, or doom metal riffages. Semi-distorted bass guitar supports these maneuvers from beneath through skillfully arranged basslines. The colossal beats provided by the tremendous rhythm section are holding these pieces together in line but also accentuating the orchestrations through various rhythmical delicacies.

Matt Hobart forms exquisite soundscapes through Scaphoid, and Absent Passages are more than a brilliant proof of his marvelous musicianship and composing skills. These compositions are maintaining attention because of the enormous amount of ideas involved during the writing process. Some of these themes are going beyond comprehension due to the comprehensive collection of technicalities invested at some numbers. This material will be a special treat for those who’re profoundly into instrumental ambient metal, progressive metal, progressive rock, and post-rock music. Absent Passages comes with a skillfully crafted die-cut paper sleeve that is a unique piece of art by itself. The entire artwork resembles the retro sci-fi ambiance, so characteristic for the 50s or 60s sci-fi artworks. The paper sleeve has a see-through front cover artwork that has a switchable eight-page booklet, fully stacked with the beforementioned sci-fi landscape artworks. Absent Passages is available on compact disc at Shunu Records, so make sure to check out this marvelous instrumental recording.

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