For 25 years, While Heaven Wept have been one of the most diverse and hard to classify bands in heavy metal. Suspended At Aphelion is their latest effort for Metalville Records/Nuclear Blast, essentially a huge 40 minute epic track broken down into 11 sections, crossing the realms of progressive metal, doom, progressive rock, death metal, classical, and ambient styles, just to name a few. The current incarnation of the band consists of Tom Phillips (Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals), Jim Hunter (Bass, Vocals), Rain Irving (Lead Vocals), Trevor Schrotz (Drums), Scott Loose (Guitar), Jason Lingle (Keyboards, Vocals), and Michelle Schrotz (Keyboards, Vocals). With 7 members, While Heaven Wept are able to create this huge wall of sound, and they use every bit of their talents on this gargantuan concept piece.
They key here is to listen to Suspended At Aphelion all the way through, as each track segues into the next and it all flows quite nicely. That being said, a few of the 'sections' do stand out; "Icarus and I" is just masterful, as soaring progressive metal ala Dream Theater led by the outstanding melodic vocals of Rain battle dramatic death metal growls, and "Ardor" delivers stunning male & female vocals amid furious prog arrangements. The blazing instrumental "Indefference Turned Paralysis" allows the band to show off their impressive chops, while the haunting "Lifelines" lost, a great slice of melancholy metal, eases you into the chilling Mellotron drenched closer "Retrospectus".
Lovely keyboard soundscapes, powerful vocals, and impressive guitar work permeate the entirety of Suspended at Aphelion, a truly daring & provocative album from While Heaven Wept. Any fan of atmospheric, progressive metal will certainly want to investigate this one.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
2. Icarus And I
5. Indefference Turned Paralysis
6. Memory Of Bleeding
7. Souls In Permafrost
8. Searching The Stars
9. Reminiscence Of Strangers
10. Lifelines Lost