A Palace In Persia
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A Palace In Persia

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"A Palace In Persia "Metaphenomena Review""

A Palace In Persia - Metaphenomena Review (8.3/10)
Written by Chad Coup of The Apparatus

Prog is dead.

The 70s came and went, leaving many amazing relics of this neglected genre in its wake. Countless artists, most schooled in classical music, dug themselves in a hole and created some of the most wonderfully whacked-out, psychedelic, progressive music ever created. The world loved it. Prog was so popular that countless artists in the genre made the Billboard Top 100, some even making it into the top 20 and even to the number one spot. That was over thirty years ago. Some acts picked up the torch in recent memory, but many took the weighty lead from King Crimson, Yes, Pink Floyd, and Genesis and borrowed what they needed to, in one way or another.

That's all fine and good. Prog is welcome. However, the aspect that connects all 1976-onward bands is this: they borrowed from their musical grandfathers. What does this have to do with A Palace In Persia? Everything. A Palace In Persia is a new band from Orlando, FL. The record was released on 04/20 of 2007. They play progressive psychedelic rock.

The band's history speaks volumes of the success behind this record's content: The three main songwriters used to play in a pop-punk band called YTeL when they were in high school. After their album called 'Sing Balloon' needed a follow-up, writing went underway. The band wasn't happy with their old material at all, and another entity came into their music. The song was one 40-minute opus, called "Continuum, Continuum," and had no parts repeated or any set song structure. Excited with their new direction, the band scrapped the song entirely and began writing a whole other 40 minutes of music. The creativity and energy, as well as composition and overall message, ceased to be YTeL. The old band dissolved and the new band became A Palace In Persia. Excepting passive exposure to The Mars Volta and a couple radio tracks from Pink Floyd, they had virtually nonexistent knowledge of psychedelic or progressive rock prior to the writing and recording of this album.

The record is one of the most unique-sounding concoctions of the genre in recent years. Songs like "Money Culture: Progress Parade" have some catchy pop-punk vocal lines. The chords and vocal harmonies are not only memorable and effective, but serve the band as their surprise live performance hit. There is also some Blood Brothers-esque vocal work in the first track called "Fervor And Frailty," which starts off with a very moody keyboard tone. Saxophone is makes its appearance in this song as well as performing some Zorn-inspired squawking in the powerful "Notoriety." If anything, APIP is an experimental rock band that happens to love playing complicated, layered and moody music.

For example, "Money Culture: Vendetta" is strikingly minimalist, with only one layer of percussion, careful vocals, a few scant acoustic guitar notes and a playful bass line. Most of the song is like this until rampant, organic percussion builds and closes out the song almost as fast as it began. "Notoriety" begins with a very eerie choral number until it turns into some kind of 1940s big-band monstrosity with lots of creative time signature changes. Latin rhythms come in after a very dense, primitive, trapped-in-a-cave segment. The 15-minute song ends with a snare fade-out. Almost as quietly as it began, the album ends. It's amazing that so much texture and moods were crammed into such a running time.

The actual playing of the instruments is exciting. Vocalist/bassist Nasrulah Paul Rahbari II has a really expressive voice, and his bass playing is springy and energetic. In fact, his performance can be likened to Peter Gabriel's early Genesis days, as his voice changes pitch, accents and diction according to who is speaking in the story. Kyle Haust's drum playing has a decidedly tribal feel, but the art rock undertones of tom fills and cymbal placement lend well to the ear. Guitarist Matt Demea isn't afraid to let his guitar explore different textures of feedback and even challenges time signatures; the effect is ethereal and balanced. APIP never gets ahead of itself while adhering to its own sound.

The band is definitely ambitious. Rahbari sent me this snippet along with the album in hopes of explaining the journey I was in for. "Metaphenomena is the first album to be released in a four-CD story, and is the second album out of the four. This album is the sole meeting of the lead character and the three-headed man Khayyam. Each track represents the conversation that the lead character has with each head. So, after the lead character's little prayer at the beginning of track 1, the first head speaks out to him. It breaks down the constructs of man/society's impact on the earth, along with the constricts of religion, to help clear the lead character's mind for what he is going to be told/shown. Tracks 2 & 3 represent the second head, and it shows the lead character, thro - GrindingTheApparatus.net


Split Full Length with Sir.Time
Self-released through The Apparatus
Release Date: 20-April-2007
Running Time: 77-minutes

1. A Palace In Persia - Fervor and Frailty
2. A Palace In Persia - Money Culture: Vendetta
3. A Palace In Persia - Money Culture: Progress Parade
4. A Palace In Persia - Notoriety

5. Sir.Time - Welcome
6. Sir.Time - Genesis 11
7. Sir.Time - Fire
8. Sir.Time - Genesis 29
9. Sir.Time - Dreams
10. Sir.Time - H.E.R. (featuring Oldness)
11. Sir.Time - American Hero
12. Sir.Time - Take My Tongue Away
13. Sir.Time - 2000 Troops
14. Sir.Time - 60 Minutes
15. Sir.Time - Days of Glory
16. Sir.Time - Goodbye Money Culture



From the sweltering nether regions of Orlando, Florida, psychedelic rock band A Palace In Persia is solely about expanding your mind. Bassist and vocalist Nasrulah Paul Rahbari II says, "Don't just sit and listen to a melody but to the parts that comprise the melody, to pick apart the rhythms that make a section sound the way it does and make you feel the way you do. Do not just listen to my voice but to what I am voicing about." The band's debut album Metaphenomena, which was released on 04/20/2007 through The Apparatus, is the mere tip of the very large future for listeners and is something that could be enjoyed on many levels by many ears. The band wants to give the listener something to fully dive into and tear apart.

Metaphenomena is the first release in which will ultimately be a four-album story. This particular album is solely the meeting of the main character and a mysterious three-headed man named KHAYYAM, hence only three songs, each representing each head and what each tells the main character. In this album's place in the series, it is the second part. Future artwork and later album content will ultimately unveil revelations of beyond cosmic proportions.

A Palace In Persia is a part of the exciting new wave of progressive rock acts like The Mars Volta, Coheed And Cambria and smaller acts like Mare. The band's influences come from a variety of musical sources. Essences of Jeff Buckley and Bjork as well as early Pink Floyd and Islands-era King Crimson can be heard. Each record is to be totally different in sound and complexity, with the first release to slowly lure people in before they are plunged headfirst into a wild other universe.