AraPacis (Ara-Patches) is a female-fronted metal band hailing from Montreal, Canada. Formed in 2003 by guitarist Jerry Fielden, and fronted by Scots singer Shelle Macpherson, their main goal is to re-create some of the original aspects of 1970's Hard Rock and Progressive Rock and fuse it together with 21st Century Prog Metal, Doom Metal & Metalcore to make an interesting metal hybrid.
AraPacis is certainly a band that breaks all barriers, which is why I respect them. They can incorporate so many different genres into their music but maintain some order so it does not sound out of place. That speaks volumes for their artistic souls and creative minds.
Setting the pace is Order of the Ember Queen with electrifying vocals and heart pounding rhythm. I love the playful banter between the vocalist and guitar, then the mediator of the keyboards steps in to keep everything in check. I really appreciate the wide range of tempos and pitches in the song that keeps your interest throughout the song while at the same time, when it is over, leaves you wanting more. The keyboards add a touch of electronica sounds which puts me in the mindset of ELO but not sounding referential at all, merely a wink to their style.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Metal met the Blues? Wonder no longer, AraPacis has answered that question with Dirty Soap. And it is surprising just how well the two go together, as well as a testament to the range this band of artists can create when they put their heart to it. The vocals go from haunting to gritty, while the guitar goes full on blues. Get to the guitar solo which that genre is known for and you all of sudden find yourself wanting to sit back in your chair while sipping some whiskey, thinking of days gone by.
At the beginning I said you would be on an adventure of musical genres with this album, and I was not lying. Propaganda Messiah has to be the most interesting example of this, with a mix of Death Metal and Beatnik style. You have the growling snarl of vocals then changing into an almost operatic style, not to be outdone by the guitars and drums which follow suit with the changing of styles. This song plays with your mind and ears in a delightful way because you don’t know what to expect next, which is sometimes just what we need in our lives.
If I had to choose a favorite song, which is really hard for me to do, I would have to say it is Spearhead. The vocals are spot on and the lyrics are powerful. It has a nice blend of hard rock and old school metal. It is a song that lingers in your mind and you will start singing in random places. Plus, I thoroughly enjoy the vocal range in this song in particular, often times vocalists will get in a rut and sing the same style to keep the album cohesive. They show you can have cohesion with variety. The rhythm of the drums and guitars are understated but definitely not out shined, they are just adding their own flair in their own subtle way.
If someone asked me to describe AraPacis and Paradox Of Denial in one word, I simply could not do it. That would be doing such a disservice to their unique style and the way they create music with such reckless abandonment. Their artistry is something you must experience for yourself and once you do, you will no longer see music in set terms and rules. You will see it as an organic creation from free spirited souls that just create music from their hearts and with their combined passion.