Akeldama is easily the best under the radar progressive metal band today. The unsigned six-piece from Tampa, FL is on the verge of something fantastic. After being invited to play Euroblast last year, they returned home to finish up their forthcoming, (potentially) self-released album Everything Beautiful later this year, and if “A New Beginning” is any indication of things to come – it is going to be huge.
Aside from their phenomenal demo (I’m not kidding, download it here and thank me later) all we have from Akeldama is “A New Beginning,” the first song off of their debut album Everything Beautiful, and it is a banger. If you’re looking for some Meshuggah-esque riffs with a heavy atmosphere, you can stop your search – “A New Beginning” hits all of the ‘djent’ check-boxes and still manages to be unique and interesting, something many bands can’t claim. Throw in a solo from Skyharbor‘s Keshav Dhar, a nice juxtaposition to Akeldama’s massive, groovy riffs, and this song should satisfy the snobbiest of prog-nerds. This isn’t the only guest spot on the album, as the closer features Ashe O’Hara of TesseracT and Per Nilsson of Scar Symmetry.
Midway through the track, clean vocalist Andrew Zink and growler Connor Reibling have an awesome back and forth. Zink has one of those majestic high singing voices (think a more metal Claudio Sanchez) that goes perfectly with the crunchy riffs and Reibling’s deep, bellowing growls. My words can’t do it any justice, it needs to be heard to be fully understood. There’s plenty of focused riffage throughout, with a definite sense of design, but opposed to the ones so commonly used in progressive metal, it comes across as purposeful instead of a “look mom, polyrhythms” sort of way, which can’t be said for most bands striving for this sound.
However, the lyrics end up as my only noticeable weak point on the track. A bit too straightforward for my taste, I have a strong feeling you need to hear the full album to fully grasp what is going on in this song. We know Everything Beautiful is going to be a concept album (yay!) and as a result, these lyrics should take on a larger form when compared to the story as a whole. Guitarist Eric Owen mentions that, “we wanted the lyrics to be very descriptive at times. The beginning [of the album] was one of those times when we wanted to paint a clear picture. So as the song goes on, it simply explains to the listener how everything begins.”
“A New Beginning” has only increased my anticipation for Everything Beautiful. Akeldama have a strong focus for what they want the album to be, and I fully expect them to achieve it. As for this song in particular, make sure to download their demo to fully appreciate what this band can offer.
Get ready for Everything Beautiful.
Progressive Metal | Unsigned