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TDW: Aphrodisia (EP)

TDW (Tom de Wit) is a Dutch musician whom I first heard around 2008 with his album titled The Haunts. That was an ambitious effort and not one easily categorized as the results were really quite unique in the realm of progressive rock/metal. I admit to losing touch with the band so when a new disc arrived at my door I was very much looking forward to hearing how the band has progressed. TDW has released a few albums since and the players on his new EP Aphrodisia did not appear in the band's line-up from 2008. He calls this band Dreamwalkers Inc and the line-up is as follows:

Peter den Bakker (bass)
Rik Bruineman (drums)
Hanna van Gorcum (violins, vocals)
Lennert Kemper (guitars, vocals)
Vincent Reuling (synths, vocals)
Tom de Wit (vocals, synths, guitars)

This EP is a precursor of what can be heard on TDW's brand new album The Antithetic Affiliation, a two disc set which I believe was released a few weeks ago. The EP is a sampling of four tracks taken from the new album but what you hear on the EP will be slightly different as the full album songs were fine-tuned with additional sonic layering and other subtle changes. I have yet to hear the two disc set so I cannot comment on the differences but what I can tell you is the EP is as dynamic and diverse as I remember the band to be upon my initial investigations into TDW's music.

The disc begins with the excellent title track where the band's talent is on full display. A barrage of drums and percussion starts it off before a moody layering of guitars and keyboards comes into focus. The soundscape is mellow with wonderful vocals and lushness added courtesy of Gorcum's violin. The music builds in intensity as symphonic swells are unleashed and the prog metal riffage shifts into high gear. The vocals turn into an intense rap-like style which reminded me of something of Pain of Salvation might do. Guest vocalist Radina Dimcheva adds a more soothing element with the overall vocal arrangement being a real highlight here. On "Dirge" the sound is more acoustic based with the lovely vocals of Cailyn Erlandsson a great addition to the equally impressive male vox. This is just a beautiful track that you really need to hear. The sound gets heavier with the progressive metal of "Anthem" and the soaring chorus is as addictive as they come. The disc ends on a quieter note with "Lovesong" where electronic elements supplement the violin and acoustic guitar. Again, the vocals are excellent.

After listening to Aphrodisia a few times the melodies and arrangements reeled me in more and more. If these four tunes are any indication The Antithetic Affiliation will be essential to any progressive rock collection. I for one can't wait to hear more of what this band has to offer.

Track Listing:
1. Aphrodisia (8:22)
2. Dirge (4:43)
3. Anthem (6:38)
4. Lovesong (4:42)

Added: May 20th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1415
Language: english

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