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Appearance of Nothing: All Gods Are Gone

The Rise and Fall of Nothing

Albums like All Gods Are Gone remind me why I love progressive metal so much. Although traditional prog metal has become a dumping ground for uninspired Dream Theater clones lately, an ambitious act like Appearance of Nothing injects some much-needed life into the genre. Featuring guest performances from legends such as Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale) and Devon Graves (Psychotic Waltz, Deadsoul Tribe), as well as some of the best prog metal music created in the last 10 years, should be enough to convince anyone to give this a shot. Appearance of Nothing has an impressive amount of power and energy, not to mention the unforgettable compositions on All Gods Are Gone. Although 2011 has barely begun, it looks like we already have an early contender for "top ten" material. If you've been writing off progressive metal as a derivative genre that has nothing new to offer, pick this up - you won't regret it.

The music here is undoubtedly progressive metal, but there's plenty of eclecticism and diversity on All Gods Are Gone. You'll hear thrash tendencies (especially on "...I Said Silence"), plenty of power metal (not the cheesy type), some death growls from Dan Swanö, and of course technical prog rock/metal in the vein of Dream Theater. This is a pretty fast-paced album - not like an extreme metal album, but there isn't much breathing room here. There's the occasional softer moment, but most of All Gods Are Gone is a heavy symphonic journey. Cheesy and pompous ballads are nowhere to be found; instead Appearance of Nothing manages to seamlessly blend heaviness and beauty while maintaining a sense of coherence. Songs like "The Mirror's Eyes", "2nd God", and "...I Said Silence" switch moods multiple times without any awkward transitions. As previously mentioned, Dan Swanö lends his death growls to 3 songs here, and Devon Graves contributes on one song. Despite the prominence of the guest singers, the vocals from the core band shouldn't be underestimated at all. The two vocalists in Appearance of Nothing (Patrick Gerber and Omar Cuna) add up to a terrific department with wondrous harmonies and soaring melodies. Instrumentally speaking, AoN is equally as impressive. There are plenty of complicated breaks and mind boggling solos without ever crossing the line between impressive playing and self-indulgence.

The production from Markus Teske and Marc Petralito is absolutely fantastic. The sound is perfect for Appearance of Nothing's music - no complaints here.

Conclusion:

All Gods Are Gone really was a pleasant surprise for me. Prior to this album I had never heard of Appearance of Nothing, so calling this a great introduction would be a huge understatement. Modern prog metal doesn't get much better than this - if you want to hear something that's original and captivating from beginning to end, definitely check out this excellent Swiss group. 4.5 stars are deserved here - this is an essential purchase for fans of the genre. It'd be a mistake to let this gem slip through your fingers.


Track Listing
1. The Mirror's Eyes 06:03
2. 2nd God 06:18
3. Sweet Enemy 09:00
4. Destination 09:10
5. The Call of Eve 05:17
6. ...I said Silence 07:31
7. The Rise and Fall of Nothing 04:56

Added: May 24th 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Score:
Related Link: Appearance of Nothing Official Website
Hits: 3247
Language: english

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Appearance of Nothing: All Gods Are Gone
Posted by Brian Block, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-05-24 19:30:26
My Score:

The rise and hopefully not the soon fall of a great prog metal band

So far this year, and at the end of last year, there has been a plethora of bands that have gone with the flow, and sounded like every other prog metal band out there. But, Appearance of Nothing has shown that not all bands strive to be normal. With a great group of guests that include Dan Swanö of Nightingale and Edge of Sanity, and Devon Graves of Psychotic Waltz and Deadsoul Tribe. This album is a great mix of genres that include prog and hints of power metal. Though it's early in 2011, this has a huge chance to make my top ten, or even top five albums of the year.

The musicianship on this album is top notch. I especially like the guitar style of Peter Berger, which blends in very well with Appearance of Nothing's great prog sound. One song that showcases this is "The Mirror's Eyes". Peter Berger and Marc Petralito show off bursts of electric power that is highlighted by the drums, which back up the vocals very well. The bass lines on this album are also very nice, and thick, backing up the guitars and blending in with the drums evenly. The solo to begin "2nd God" by Peter Berger is superb, and it offers a nice transition into a nice vocal section highlighted by great drumming. This is a testament to how well both the production is and how great these guys play together.

The diversity of this album also sets it apart from other recent releases, and adds to its greatness. Songs like "The Mirror's Eyes", "... I said Silence" and "2nd God" swing between dark symphonic prog metal and death metal. The way Appearance of Nothing was able to incorporate Dan Swanö into "All Gods Are Gone" shows how good they are as a band, too. "The Mirror's Eyes" is a prime example of the diversity of this album with since it also has hints of power metal in it, too. After the death vocals, it transfers into the power metal section with much faster drumming and resonating lead vocals by Pat Gerber and Omar Cuna. Those two work together so well, that they almost sound like one voice. "Sweet Enemy" changes up the feel of the album, with Devon Graves on lead vocals and a much slower feel with a lot less drums than normal. What's great about it is that it doesn't feel out of place at all, it blends right in with the rest of the album. One thing that was unexpected on this album was that it also had techno elements in it. I know many people don't think that techno would fit in with prog metal, but surprisingly it does. On the track "The Call of Eve" the keyboards start the techno riff, but it is soon taken up by both the drums and guitars. Then it flows seamlessly back and for the between metal and techno until the vocals, which as with every other song are superb.

I can say absolutely nothing about the production of "All Gods Are Gone" because it left me speechless. It is flawless and smooth, another reason to pick this one up.

Some of the best progressive metal comes from Sweden, but now some people will have to turn their attention to Switzerland. Appearance of Nothing has brought everything I love to the table in their newest release; great vocals, originality, great sound. With hints of power, and prog metal they will capture the ears of many listeners. For their grand release Appearance of Nothing gets 4.5 stars.

Appearance of Nothing: All Gods Are Gone
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-05-23 08:12:11
My Score:

First of all, I haven't heard the band's debut album, Wasted Time, so I have no idea how their new one compares, though the general consensus seems that this one is heavier and more aggressive overall.

All Gods Are Gone is a varied album that touches on power, melodic, and progressive metal while also bringing in other elements. From the marching vocal harmonies of "...I Said Silence" to the pummeling double bass drums of most of the tunes, the band delves into European power metal territory. However, no song retains its identity from start to finish -- they are interspersed with interesting breakdowns, lengthy progressive rock-like instrumental passages, and hook-laden choruses. The centrepiece of the album, "Destination," evokes Rage circa Ghosts and XIII with its orchestral arrangement, husky vocal lines, agile instrumental sections, and pounding riffs. It seamlessly blend's the band's both vocalists, Pat Gerber's aggressive tone with Omar Cuna's soft, crystalline style. To further diversify their craft, they throw into the mix a largely electronic-based cut, "The Call of Eve." The whole song is based on Marc Petralito's trance-like synth experimentation, but honestly, it both falls short and detracts from the quality of the album.

There are two great guest vocalists on board: Devon Graves graces the beautiful "Sweet Enemy" with his unmistakable vocals. Though far from a ballad, it starts out as a somewhat jazzy number with a powerful piano theme supported by sweeing guitar arpeggios. The ending of the song ventures into a spacey synth melody that is truly worth hearing. Dan Swano, the other guest singer, assumes a bigger role on the album. He appears on three cuts with his deep growls to contrast the clean-sung lines. His growling is mostly kept to a minimum, though (think Threshold's Dead Reckoning). The one exception is "2nd God" -- another standout track on the album. This one sees Swano trading verses with the real vocalist atop an exceptional melodic passage laced with acoustic guitars and Hammond-like synths. The instrumental, "The Rise and Fall of Nothing," actually demonstrates the band's current musical vision, with its constant shift from heavy, riff-driven exercises to calmer, more melodic phrases.

Because the album was mixed and produced by Markus Teske, it recalls Vanden Plas and Red Circuit sonically. That being said, Appearance of Nothing's focus is more on riffs and aggression while the other bands explore the progressive side of music.

The album comes housed in a nice jewel case (in case you, too, aren't a big fan of digipacks) with a beautifully designed booklet.



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