Ontario, Canada natives Æpoch are excited to announce their latest release, a five-song EP called Hiraeth, which is set for release on Friday, September 10th. Hiraeth serves as the follow-up to the group’s well-received 2020 EP, The Scryer. Cover art for Hiraeth was created by Mark Erskine (Fractal Generator, Dead World Reclamation, Symbolik) with mixing and mastering handled by Ominous Ruin (Willowtip Records) guitarist Alex Bacey.
Active since 2012, Æpoch has kept up a steady pace between killer live appearances and new releases since their inception. While the group’s most recent effort, The Scryer, was focused on older unreleased material the band was proud of and wished to see released, Hiraeth charts a different course altogether.
In 2021, that takes the form of Æpoch focusing anew on the progressive and technical aspects of their old-meets-new approach to death metal. Albeit in a way that feels different than all prior material from the band. Aided in part by the group’s newest members, guitarists Marcus Arar and Nicholas Luck, bringing their own array of versatile ideas and songwriting capabilities to the Æpoch fold on Hiraeth.
As the group explains: “The purpose of this EP is to showcase the more refined modern progressive/tech-death direction of the band. This progression is completely natural with our new members. This EP features songs that were written by Marcus and Brett & Taylor Wroblewski (Amnesia) with contributions from Nick and Greg in all songs. Not to mention guest vocals by Jerry Martin of Alustrium in “Amnesia” too. This EP also features our first dabble in the world of dissonance, while we tried to do it our way. Perhaps a little more melody and a little less melancholy.”
The end result makes for another bold step forward in Æpoch’s sonic evolution, although you’ll have to stick around to see what the group churns out after this as there is no guarantee it’ll follow the same course Hiraeth does. Which is to be expected from a talented group not eager to stick to one path permanently.
Æpoch – Hiraeth will strongly appeal to fans of groups such as Beyond Creation, Fallujah, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Obscura.
Æpoch band statement regarding Hiraeth
“This EP is a concept story about an unnamed protagonist awakening in a post-apocalyptic type world with no memory of his past or how he got there. He begins to wander in the desolate wasteland desert for days without any food or clean water. His body and mind grow weak from malnutrition and he begins to hallucinate. He eventually stumbles upon what appears to be fertile land. He sees a looming and eerie silhouette of some sort of decrepit totem. He becomes fixated on the monument.
As approaches, he gazes upon its carved trunk he notices the foul smell from all around him. This is the smell of the decaying flesh of those who walked this path before him, their minds consumed by the demonic spirit of the monolith. This creature, we call “The god of rot” in the songs and the god of rot infects the mind of its victims, enthralling them to its will. The god of rot feeds off of the life source of its victims by having them sacrifice themselves once they are fully enthralled in a way similar to seppuku (Japanese samurai ritual suicide) and dress its limbs in their innards before they expire. The cover art depicts our protagonist approaching the god of rot.”