Band Website: http://akin69.bandcamp.com/
Label: ProgRock Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2011
This is the third CD release for the band Akin. It follows an earlier EP and full length release. The band is from Lyon, France and found a welcome home in the progressive metal community although you would wonder why when you listen to the music on The Way Things End. The band is made up of Julien Chometton (guitar), Luc Babut (bass), Matthieu Baker (guitar), Philippe Chauvire (flute), Adeline Gurtner (vocals) and Pierre Lucas (keyboards). The combination of string quartet, flute and female vocals all go to move their sound quite some distance from prog-metal and instead show the band very capable of producing a nice melodic prog with symphonic embellishments.
The Way Things End features a total of fifteen tracks most of which are in the three to five minute range. As one listens it’s quite easy to hear the band’s prog-metal approach although it’s been adapted to a larger musical pallet. The addition of string-quartet certainly goes a long way to “soften” the overall feel even when everyone is “sawing” in unison. Instead it makes for a grander symphonic feel and plays well against the female vocals of Adeline. Her approach is never strained or overly forceful, rather simply delivered with the utmost confidence and warmth. The compositions themselves are well crafted offering up lots of musical variety with guitarists switching from electric to acoustic regularly and keyboards working nicely in the background. These are song-based compositions and yet they will slide through different segments, different feels. The track “Unheated” [3:57] is a good example. Given its short length is manages to change-up three or four times both in terms of musical dynamics as well as time and tempo. It’s quite subtle and very well done.
After a few listens Akin’s The Way Things End offers a very satisfying play with a little something for every symphonic prog fan. It’s the kind of disc that will appeal to prog-metal fans looking for something a little softer or arty and yet will also appeal to symphonic fans looking for something with an edge. And because of the number of tracks it’s easy to go back and hear something new each time you listen. I think prog fans in general will find much to enjoy here.