Scaphoid – Dies Mercurii – EP Review
Sometimes a subtle layer of mystique can go a long, long way.
I was checking into the music of Scaphoid’s new EP called Dies Mercurii and decided I should really find out who’s responsible for the sounds I was hearing. I went to check the submission of this record’s details itself…and found mention of both ‘the artist name’ and ‘our facebook’ page – so right off the bat, I was confused…that could obviously be one or many people as its written! No problem…check out the Facebook page, no added information…but there’s a link to the main site! Click that link…and it brings us to a generic page at GoDaddy…and down the rabbit hole I continually fell. Gut suspicion says that this EP is short at only three-songs long, each song is also MASSIVE in terms of its ambition and instrumentation…it couldn’t just be all one person, could it?
I’m afraid at the time of this publication, I can’t solve that mystery for you…and perhaps its puzzling presence is intentional. Somehow not knowing a single detail other than what I’m hearing made the Scaphoid Dies Mercurii EP even more inviting to listen to…like a story I needed to finish or hear for myself. If I had to venture a guess…I’d probably say Scaphoid is a 3-4 piece band…but I could be wrong. As I mentioned at the beginning, sometimes a subtle layer of mystique can go a long, long way – and right now Scaphoid can consider me incredibly intrigued & marveling at how this has all come to be.
Because I can tell you, firsthand, after multiple listens…whether or not it’s made by one or several people becomes an irrelevant anecdote if you’re enjoying what you hear as much as I have. Right away with the mythical sound and mystery that builds with gentle & gripping intensity on “Dissolving The Dream” I knew I was in for something special here. Not knowing the music of Scaphoid until now, I kept waiting for an unwanted vocal-layer to come along during that first listening experience and was so RELIEVED to discover that these were highly complex, experimental and boldly-structured instrumental tunes. The intricate guitar work and subtle percussion fill the atmosphere incredibly well as it builds towards the two-minute mark to bring in more of a beat, piano-line & bass accompaniment…everything works together in truly magical ways. The melody in the song is completely beautiful, progressive, expressive and explorative – there’s much talent & skill on display throughout the subtle-intensity of this slow-burning opener…”Dissolving The Dream” gets a big thumbs-up from me. Every movement & moment in the music is extraordinarily textured & unique to the ears and a true pleasure to listen to evolve & unfold.
I mean…LISTEN to the way “Macroburst” begins and tell me you don’t want like, as much of this sound in your faceholes as you can get! For real! What incredible control Scaphoid has over the music made! The execution from performance to production here is absolutely breathtaking. Serious props to the drums…the mix on them is exquisite and incredible parts have been written into “Macroburst” that showcase the complexity, precision and passion this dude plays with. Love the low-rumble of the bass and how intense it is while the guitars overtop make this track feel like it’s moving slower than it really is. “Macroburst” has magnificent contrast in it and completely compelling, captivating & wild ideas all throughout its length, spanning a massive adventure in music that’s purely unforgettable. The atmospheres this band creates are absolutely outstanding in every possible way…the music is made with such passion and high-levels of charisma that even your friend that never likes the ‘instrumental stuff’ is gonna sit up, pay attention and take notice of a band like this.
“Sanctuary” has Scaphoid at the most ambitious end of the spectrum in their longest & most versatile tune at the end of the EP. Just past eight-minutes in total – you get a whole mix of ideas, tones, textures and atmosphere in the structure of this ever-evolving final cut…and once again, every element involved in the music is bringing its A-game. The guitars notably take the spotlight in much of this tune with AMAZING contributions often coming in from just behind the main elements of what we hear in the distance and background of the music – but OH how they contribute to this idea overall! Seriously insightful writing in the music of Scaphoid that can’t be labeled as anything BUT impressive; “Sanctuary” goes on to evolve and morph into a second & third-life altogether as it transitions flawless and adapts to new sounds being brought in. Somewhere just past the five-minute mark, there’s a low-end synth that’s brought in just before one of my favorite guitar-lines of the entire record that sounds 100% deadly and makes for the perfect switch for one of the final transformations of this tune. After taking the mayhem and menace for a stretch, Scaphoid takes it all back to the roots and quiets-up for the final minute or so in an atmospheric breakdown and gradual exit out of the EP.
And once it’s over…you just kind of sit there listening to the silence surrounding you…stunned at all you just heard. I know I did. It was probably only seconds before I hit the repeat button to play the EP again, but it felt like an eternity. Loved the way they ended this experience in that smooth exit…the entire EP plays like a vision-quest…you rub your eyes when it’s finally over like you’ve been locked away in a vivid dream that’s incredibly real.
I’m a huge fan of any band OR artist that can take us away and absorb us into atmospheres like this. Amazing job from beginning to end – Scaphoid’s Dies Mercurii is absolutely enchanting and captivating from the moment it starts and never ceases to astound.
Find out more about Scaphoid at the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/scaphoidmusic
Check them out at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaG8wpH6y3U
And at Bandcamp direct: http://www.scaphoid.bandcamp.com
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