CD Review: SO MANY LEAPERS
By: Dan Brisebois
It's unfortunately rather rare to have a band hit the mark on its first try, but that's what happened with Arapacis' debut, SO MANY LEAPERS. Initially formed in 2003, the Toronto foursome consists of Shelsey Jarvis on vocals, Jerry Fielden on guitars, Gab Boudreault on bass and drummer Ray Tessier. The band has headlined the Hard Rock Cafe in Montreal, as well as opened for Anvil and Raven, among other heavy hitters.
Released in 2006, the album is as if the 70s legends have been brought up to date. The list of bands Arapacis calls influences is impressive and deep - Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Mountain, and even Janis Joplin. But a highlight of SO MANY LEAPERS is it's progressiveness with an edge - hence the Rush and Iron Maiden undertones.
Fielden is the chief song writer, and the lyrics are provoking, if not tantalizing, - delvng into a wide range of emotions. From the opening speed riffs of the lead-off title track, the album has balls, there's no mistaking that. "Drop of Hope" is arguably one of the best underground heavy tracks this year. "Histories" is the token ballad on the record. The trap many bands fall into is not taking the opportunity to make slower paces something special. That's far from the case here. The song's intricate vocal mix plays well with the a carefully thought-out keyboards underlay.
Listen to "Tale Spin" and you'll hear the Maiden influences - "Reflections" and you can't help but think Hendrix - as Fielden tears through the tempo changes like the proverbial axe through butter, all the while Jarvis' vocals tear into you and seldom let go. Sometimes borderline goth, often wrenching and always intriguing - she has one of the best sets of pipes on the scene today. "Soldier of Fun" is an interesting number, that features one of Jarvis' best vocal performances.
The mix on "Time's Has Been" showcases an almost goth-feel to the song, and can actually be heard being hinted at throughout the album. "Fast Fingers" is sure to be a hit with any fan of screaming guitar licks, with keyboard solos highlighting an instrumental that's held down with a solid back beat.
Review from Lords of Metal Netherlands
Femme Metal - Ferocity & Femininity
Anthem Records NL
file under Gothic metal
Kim: This compilation CD is made by three people who only know each other by internet; Ronald Bleys (Anthem Records NL), David Melanson (mastering, artwork) and Carrie Sharp (the woman behind femme metal forum, webzine and metal store). The three of them share the passion for the so called heavy rock/ metal with female voices and that’s why they decided to gather fifteen femme metal bands (of six different countries) to join this project. I don’t know if it’s that special, because it’s common these days to make compilations only by internet.
This binder contains only two femme metal bands I already knew; Dyonisis and Ancestral Legacy. Furthermore there’s only one band on this album which has a record label; Liquid Sky from England. Okay, it’s obvious that there are no usual metal bands on this compilation, but there are no top bands with qualities that don’t exceed a demo sound. The peaks on this CD to me are Arapacis (Canada) with ‘So Many Leapers’ and Dyonisis (Engeland) with ‘Xact’.
That there was no personal contact between the raisers and that the benefit will be for a good effort are maybe some special things about this CD, but there are too many compilation CD’s nowadays. Maybe we can call this a new concept, because of the fact that there are bands on this CD from countries outside of Europe. Finally we can meet some gothic metal bands from the U.S., Australia and Canada, but I don’t know if it’s a nice addition…..
Adastreia - The Reach (United Kingdom)
Hanging Doll - Sweet Retribution (United Kingdom)
Submerged - This Thing Of Darkness (United Kingdom)
AraPacis So Many Leapers (Canada)
Fateless Tears - Mesmerized (United States)
HAND - I Find Myself (United Kingdom)
Dremora - Alone (United States)
Maida Vale - Remote Control (The Netherlands)
Dendura - Symphony (United States)
Celticia - Misshaped Scenes (United Kingdom)
Afterdawn - Top of Occasions (United States)
Temujin - Let You Go (Australië)
Dyonisis - Xact (United Kingdom)
Liquid Sky - Ghost in the Shell (United Kingdom)
Ancestral Legacy - Disclosed (Norway)
Rating: 67/100 (details)
Stunning debut release - 95%
Written by ruigeroeland on September 28th, 2007
I had this band’s debut and so far only release on my
wish list for quite some time now, without really knowing what they sounded
like. I read some positive reviews online though, labeling them as a blend of
pop/rock/hard rock or as a progressive gothic metal band. Comparing them to Rush
with Avril Lavigne on vocals, Anvil and Black Sabbath. No wonder I was not sure
what to expect.
To get the style of playing out of the way: after listening to the disc a couple of times I would classify them as a progressive metal/rock band with some Stoner Rock-ish moments in a couple of the songs. I think the gothic tag does not apply to them at all though and it seems this categorization is just placed upon them because they happen to have a female singer.
And what a singer she is! She is just one of those singers you like right away, without knowing exactly why, I guess she has a certain warm tone and powerful voice that’s highly enjoyable to listen too. She excels in the slower song “Histories” with it’s catchy chorus (which is an amazing song and probably my favorite after a couple of spins).
The “progressive” elements are highlighted in very enjoyable instrumental parts in the more up-tempo songs. Showing off the skills of the band. These guys are all excellent with their instruments! Although they utilize some song structures that would classify them as progressive, I must stress that this is not the showing off, “hey look at how good I am with my guitar” sort of progressive, but always has a rocky head bopping edge.
I am quite impressed with this debut release. This band deserves to be heard!
Note: I read the singer has left the band since the release of this disc though, and I truly hope they found a suitable replacement.
Reviews for AraPacis's So Many Leapers
Not a bad start - 67%
Written by Noktorn on May 9th, 2007
I've never been much of a gothic or a prog fan, so this review will be mostly geared towards those who are. Arapacis is just such a fusion out of Quebec. Clean female vocals with periodic growls, melodic yet heavy riffing backed up by rock-inspired leads and ethereal synth lines, omnipresent bass forming a bed for the guitars, basic but effective drum performance: pretty standard, all things considered. But it's executed pretty effectively at points, though some much more than others. Overall, 'So Many Leapers' is a pretty solid debut for this band.
Arapacis excels, like most gothic bands, on their slower, ballad-style songs. There's a high level of guitar/hard rock influence on this album that is more beneficial than detrimental, giving the songs a tinge of groove necessary to keep them moving. The addition of melodramatic leads keeps the emotional highs of the compositions flowing well, such as on 'Histories', probably the best track on this CD. This is where the band syncs up perfectly: making melodic, rock influenced metal that manages to be catchy, captivating, and well-written without an excess of clutter.
There are a couple slip-ups, but nothing that ruins the album. Vocals are generally good, but there are points where Shelsey Jarvis feels it necessary to let loose a screech that's beyond her abilities, causing my eye to twitch in a most unpleasant fashion. This also isn't a terribly original release, but I think that'll be fixed with time: all the performers are capable, and the progressive leanings that you hear in the music bode well for the future. It's merely a matter of time and practice before they break out into a more popular audience.
While not my favorite style of music, Arapacis' debut LP is a solid representation of such a fusion that would appeal to many fans of such. Might as well give it a go and see for yourself.
AraPacis's page ~ So Many Leapers ~ Reviews archives
Encyclopaedia Metallum - Reviews for AraPacis - So Many Leapers
AraPacis review - Space Junkies Magazine August 2006
"So Many Leapers"
http://www.arapacis.comIn the past they have received good and bad feedback as all bands do, but nothing got them down. ARAPACIS released their album "So Many Leapers" this year (2006), and did a great job. The band consisted of Jerry (guitar), Shelsey (vocals/keyboard), Gab (bass), and of course Ray (drummer). Since the release the band has been improving by the day with their new drummer Ulysse. The album "So Many Leapers" has great lyrics and energy behind it, with a strong passion for the music that shows even more in life than listening at home. My personal favorite song from the album is "Soldier of Fun." Shelsey has a very strong voice and is amazingly talented on the piano that showed in the song, while the lyrics showed such a strong hidden meaning. Though a single song on the album ("Tale Spin") did sound typically metal (though it was still amazing). The whole album had a certain vibe that can only be explained as ARAPACIS. Critics can say what they will but Shelsey - through the CD may not have the steadiest voice - regardless has an amazing and strong voice that seized me for a moment. [Rina Dubosarski]
Reviewed on www.metalmaidens.com
By: Toine van Poorten
So Many Leapers
ARAPACIS, what great name for a band! Hailing from Canada, and undoubtely influenced by the old arena rockers and the gothic metal scene of today. If you combine the two music styles, you'll come close to the sound on "So Many Leapers". Shelsey's crystal clear vocals match pretty well to the long instrumental songs of the band. What would RUSH sound like, when AVRIL LAVIGNE became their singer? This band might give you the answer. A song like "Histories" for example captures the sound of ARAPACIS in six minutes. Sometimes they even sound LOUDER, like in "Tale Spin". And it's there, when my head starts banging. What a mean scream and what a filthy guitar solo! Yes baby, this is the real deal. Opener and title track "So Many Leapers" will definitely make many rockers go wild. It may sound a bit like BLACK SABBATH's "Symptom Of The Universe" sometimes. Do you need any more proof that this band has got a lot of potential? Listen dear friends, if you have supported a band like ANVIL, you just can't miss in my book. Also wanna hear a good ballad maybe? Just wait until you've heard "Reflections", and hear this lady pull the notes right from her very soul. The jammy part at the end of this song is also quite interesting. Although it might not exactly fit to a ballad type of thing, it sounds really nice. Feel the groove in "Time's Has-Been", which is again beefed up with a great guitar solo. This band simply needs a special introduction on our website, because I really like what I hear. In every song you feel the excitement that has been written. Just tune in to "Fast Fingers", where singer Shelsey Jarvis surprises me with some magic keyboard playing. I'd expected some smoking guitarwork here, but don't be afraid, the fast axework is in the same song too. They told me guitarist Jerry Fielden burned his fingers, while playing this fast instrumental extraordinaire. Can somebody please tame this guy, or cool him down a little? Not in these four and a half minutes, I guess. I wonder how the band will sound in a live setting? I didn't mention the rhythm section yet. It consists of Ray Tessier on drums, who obviously brings in the influences of some newer music styles, when I look at his influences on the internet. But his drumming blends very well to the second part of the rhythm tandem, Gab Boudreault on bass guitar. Like a good rhythm section, they seem to be the invisible part of the band, but
they surely cannot be missed in the great sound of this wonderful band. The last song is called "Soldier Of Fun", which is the longest piece of art here. Again with a long instrumental part, it simply beats the eight minutes border. Chapeaux! Is there nothing negative to mention here? Nope, this is a killer release. We want more! Check out http://www.arapacis.com for more information about the band and keep an eye out for an interview with the band soon on metalmaidens.com.
Underground Empire Review August 2006 ARAPACIS
So Many Leapers
(8-Song-CD: $ 16,88)
Aus dem französischsprechenden Teil Kanadas kommen bereits einige recht interessante Formationen wie FORGOTTEN TALES oder MAESTRO, die mit Damengesang aufwarten und diesbezüglich auch zu gefallen wissen. Das Quartett ARAPACIS sollte man diesbezüglich ebenfalls nicht außer Acht lassen. Die Truppe besteht aus einem erfahrenen Gitarristen namens Jerry Fielden, den wesentlich jüngeren Musikern Gabriel Boudreault am Baß und Shelsey Jarvis am Mikro, sowie einem altersmäßig zumindest optisch wohl irgendwo der Mitte der bereits genannten Musiker einzuordnenden Drummer namens Ulysse Bergeron. Ebenso unterschiedlich wie das Alter der Musiker scheinen auch deren Einflüsse zu sein, denn ARAPACIS wissen mit acht kaum einzuordnenden Songs zu überzeugen, die teilweise ganz gut abrocken, dann wieder eher gefühlsbetont in Richtung Seele abzielen oder aber auch desöfteren einen dezenten Prog-Touch aufweisen. Durch die recht kräftige und ausdruckstarke Stimme von Fräulein Shelsey vermögen aber die Songs allesamt zu überzeugen, was man auch von der Musik von »So Many Leapers«, nicht jedoch vom Sound nicht sagen kann, denn dieser kommt mitunter nicht differenziert genug aus den Boxen. Ansonsten darf man schon heute auf zukünftige Werke dieser abwechslungsreich und munter aufspielenden Truppe gespannt sein.
abwechslungsreich und munter
ARAPACIS im Überblick:
ARAPACIS - So Many Leapers (Do It Yourself)
© 1989 - 2006 Underground Empire
Metallian.com Review, Aug. 2006
ARAPACIS – SO MANY LEAPERS
This disc is not the usual fare. The amateurish demo cover might hint at something childish, but the band’s unique name and puzzling title are bearers of eight tracks of rock, hard rock and pop music. Various reports on the Internet indicated the band might be gothic or, at least, hint at that style, but there is little here that justifies the tag. Instead, Jerry Fielden and crew go after rock fans with a taste for harder than average sounds. The band is good, yet it is the guitar leads that stand out. The vocals of Shelsey Jarvis are inconsistent. They can sound weak or they can sound strong. It might be that she is inexperienced and is just finding herself. It sounds as if she needs more confidence. Ironically, for a metal girl, it is the slow song Histories and its follow-up Tale Spin that best bring out her voice. Tale Spin is a great kick ass song too. There aren’t many bands like this around nowadays – the songs were written between 1976 and 2005 - so give it a chance. E-mail email@example.com or visit www.arapacis.com. - Anna Tergel
AraPacis - So Many Leapers
Le groupe de rock AraPacis lançait récemment son premier album en anglais. Depuis près d'un an maintenant, je suis de près les destinées de ces musiciens regroupés autour du guitariste Jerry Fielden et qui sont Shelsey Jarvis, Gab Boudreault et Ray Tessier.
Pour la production de l'album, le groupe a pu compter sur l'aide de plusieurs confrères dont Mauricio Campo (ingénieur studio), Elaine Huot (infographie), Julie Michaud (photographie), Isabella Girard (pochette avant) ainsi que la productrice Denise Gorman.
Un excellent album pour ceux qui veulent découvrir ce que le Québec peut faire en matière de rock solide et progressif. Je ne suis peut-être pas objectif puisque je connais déjà pas mal le matériel du groupe, mais je dirais que tout l'album représente bien ce dont ils sont capables et chaque chanson est une belle réussite en soi. Sur ce, je recommande l'écoute de la pièce titre, So Many Leapers, ainsi que Histories (plus douce), Tale Spin (une guitare assassine) et Reflections (où chaque instrument a l'occasion de démontrer ses capacités).
La voix est puissante, les musiques solides, les textes intéressants et chacun des musiciens excelle à son instrument. A découvrir pour les amateurs de rock !
Full Frontal Recordings
ARAPACIS - So Many Leaders:
I really enjoyed listening to this album even though there were only eight tracks on it. Highly influenced by early Metal bands such as AD/DC and the Goth Influenced Metal of today see´s this Canadian band doing something really cool. Shelsey Jarvis on vocals really does need to be heard - Her voice just grabs you. Musically Gab, Jerry, Ray kick ass and certainly add to the quality of this album. Going on the basis of this album ´Arapacis´ are going to be a band you will certainly hear more of in the future. Just have a listen to the title track ´So Many Leapers´ and ´Reflections´ - These tracks are quality. What helps is they actually write interesting lyrics instead of wrting ´blood gurgling´ rubbish that is usually associated with this genre of music. Production wise the engineer does a really good job and brings the best out in them. Yeah check them out! (FX Metal) 9/10 http://www.fullfrontalrecordings.co.uk/reviewlink.php?reviewid=725
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