Select Page

A kew’s tag – Hephioz

A kew’s tag – Hephioz

A kew's tag - Hephioz

  • Rating: 8/10
  • Release Date: 03 September, 2021
  • Label: self-released
  • Musicians:
    Julian Helms - Vocals
    Johannes Weik - Guitars, Vocals
    Florian Weik - Drums
  • Favorite songs:
    Synopsis, Building Stravozphere, metamorphioz, The Phi Oziris
  • For Fans of:
    Haken, Agent Fresco, Leprous, Extreme, Between the Buried and Me, Pain of Salvation

With so much music being released these days, especially under the incredibly wide umbrella of ‘progressive’ music, it is still getting harder and harder to find something truly groundbreaking and new, as more or less all thinkable and unthinkable sounds have been explored and all paths have been tread and explored…

German band A kew’s tag are striving for the innovative in an otherwise stagnant, sometimes even stale genre – and succeed with flying colours! Yes, their band name is a phonetic play on the word ‘acoustic’, already hinting at their unique selling point: despite playing progressive rock that even borders on the heaviness of metal from time to time, the sole lead and rhythm guitar in the band is an acoustic one. How does that even work you might ask? Splendidly, I have to answer.

A kew’s tag – Hephioz (click here if the video doesn’t play)

“Hephioz” is their second album after 2015’s “Silence of the Sirens” and it tells the mythical story of a young bird striving for freedom. Classic prog territory with a concept album it is then, with a narrator and different characters, all masterfully and expressively portrayed by vocalist Julian Helms. But how does the music sound? Well, as I alluded to at the beginning of this review, this is one of the freshest sounding albums I had the pleasure of listening to in a while…

A kew’s tag – The Phi Oziris (click here if the video doesn’t play)

Starting off with a few mellow seconds, the short album opener ‘… T.R.U.T.H.’ is already brimming with fresh ideas and probably contains more progginess in its 1 minute and 40 seconds than certain other “progressive” bands manage to fit into their 60-120-minute albums.. It is setting the musical tone for “Hephioz” quite ably and after the story-telling intro of ‘Prologue: Congregation’, we are treated to a full-on instrumental overture of sorts, summarizing musically everything that’s yet to come in a succinct musical ‘[Synopsis]’.

A kew’s tag – metamorphioz (click here if the video doesn’t play)

Now what is about to unfold in the following 50 minutes is nothing short of a sprawling display of creativity: Groovy, funky, anthemic, heavy, soft, triumphant, searching, grieving… Switching from the incredibly rocking acoustic guitar from Johannes Weik and the furiously flamboyant drum hurricane of Florian Weik to the soft textures of an exquisitely arranged string quartet in ‘metamorphioz’, ‘…To Reveal A Grieving Goddess’  and the ‘Epilogue: The Firebird’s Legacy’ even adds another dimension on top to an album that is already very vivid to begin with.

A kew’s tag – Calling Nemesis (click here if the video doesn’t play)

You still can’t picture how a progressive metal album with acoustic guitar would sound? Well, in the case of “Hephioz”: think “Visions”-era Haken melodies and Nuno Bettencourt‘s groundbreaking ‘Midnight Express’ guitar dancing with BTBAM’s craziness and quirkiness. Or even better: go get the gorgeous vinyl and listen for yourself!

A kew’s tag – …To Reveal A Grieving Goddess (click here if the video doesn’t play)

Tracklist:

  1. … T.R.U.T.H.
  2. Prologue: Congregation
  3. [Synopsis]
  4. Allure
  5. Hephioz
  6. Building Stravozphere
  7. metamorphioz
  8. The Phi Oziris
  9. Calling Nemesis
  10. … To Reveal A Grieving Goddess
  11. Epilogue: The Firebird’s Legacy

About the Author

Dario

Co-Founder of The Progspace - Dario discovered the world of Prog upon hearing "Shine on you crazy diamond" for the first time at the tender age of 12 around the turn of the millennium. Coming from a musical family and brought up with classical music, this seemed to be the logical next step. Attended the school of www.progulus.com from 2002, delving into both directions: catching up with the history of already more than 30 years of progressive music as well as always staying up to date with the newest prog sounds. He loves meeting like-minded people and enjoying live music at a concert somewhere in Europe.

Progtalks by The Progspace

Listen to our newest episode right here!

Progtalks by the Progspace
Or tune in on your favorite podcast app!

What’s Hot?! – Our latest Weekly Playlist

Releases of the Week – Spotify Playlist

A lot of news happen on Facebook: FOLLOW US!

About us

ico-2 We’re a group of Prog-lovers who started a journey to share with you our thoughts about albums, concerts, tours and festivals, the photo galleries of the Prog concerts we visit, as well interviews with upcoming or established musicians or prog-related people. Follow our Facebook page for frequent updates and news around the Progniverse.

Read more…

Archives