HistoryPermanent member and leader Fielden founded South Shore of Montreal band Arapacis in 2003. The band often leans towards the gothic, but is more metal than not. The group’s line-up changes are well-known.
For the recording of its debut album Arapacis was joined by Ray Tessier on drums and Gab Boudreault on bass. Elaine Huot joined in 2005. The group recruited drummer Ulysse Bergeron in late 2006. A year later the band featured new members drummer Franck Jake and singer Elizabeth Fyre. The band has also signed with Anvil’s management, Sol Music. The band ended up on Femme Metal Records for its second album. Eric Litinas joined on bass in 2009. Arapacis was in the studio working on a new recording in 2011. Guitarist Jerry Fielden and vocalist Lizzie Fyre shared the writing duties again. Drummer Matt Roy (ex-Obtenebris) was also contributed. The band picked Netherworld as the title for its 2013 and third album. Netherworld was recorded at Red Tube and Krighammer studios during the summer and autumn of 2011 and was produced by the band and engineer Tom "Thodrekr" Guevara (Dagaz and Obtenebris). Arapacis released a free 2013 EP with its 2012 line-up (Lizzie Fyre, Mathieu Roy, John Yates and Jerry Fielden). Comprised of four of its older songs redone with that line-up, it was available for free download on its website at www.arapacis.com. The Déjà-vu demo of 2013 was the self-published limited edition, which was also available as a free download on the bands' website. Arapacis' latest and again completely revamped line-up was comprised of founding guitarist Jerry Fielden, new bassist John Aguilar (ex-Virulys), new singer Shelle Macpherson and new drummer Steve Charest who were working on a new CD. Singer Victoria Fedulova and bassist John Yates were already out. The band was working on its fourth full-length album, which was due in 2015, with several guests. The Montreal, Canada female-fronted hard rock/metal band was preparing “another eclectic mix of different styles of music for this album.” The writing for the album was almost done and demos were being recorded. In January of 2015, Arapacis released its fourth full-length CD. The new release featured 9 tracks with some classic metal, doom metal and prog riffs spicing up the album. Featured guests on the album were keyboardists Leonardo Fagelli (an original member of Arapacis), Guy LeBlanc of prog group Camel and Don Airey of Deep Purple. The band recently shared the stage with Doro, amongst others and was preparing shows to support the album. Nicolas Belaieff was on keyboards for a matter of days before vanishing from the act. Fielden’s wife Shelle Macpherson was on vocals. Jerry Fielden and John Gallagher (Raven) were playing bass with the latter as a guest. It was announced later that Arapacis was working on a new album called System Deceive with John Gallagher of Raven playing most of the bass on it and other guests such as Steph Honde on guitar (Di'anno/Hollywood Monsters, etc.). The band was working through its imprint Note Musik. The band launched the new recording at Bistro de Paris in Montreal on April 30th. Arapacis, which had just released the System Deceive CD, was soon working on new music with help from Vinny Appice and Steph Honde (Di'anno/Hollywood Monsters). The band released a single called Translucidity in mid-2016. It was the first single of its upcoming full-length demo Obsolete Continuum, which was scheduled for late 2017 on Note Musik. The single featured drums by Vinny Appice. It appeared on Note Musik in 2018. Déjà Hard was a 2020 demo and EP. Waterdog featured David Stone who had worked with Rainbow in the late 1970s.
The ‘Altar Of Peace’ or ‘Ara Pacis’ in Latin is a monument in Rome, which was built by the Emperor Augustus in 9 BC. Arapacis was one of the invited bands at the wedding of then Anvil guitarist Ivan Hurd in 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.arapacis.com. - Anna Tergel
ARAPACIS - CONSEQUENCES OF DREAMS - FEMME METAL
This is not the Arapacis I expected. The band, and female singer Lizzie Fyre, were ostensibly working on something far more gothic than the actual output, but thanks to the powers of wisdom and intelligence the quartet has gone the other way and put together a bona fide hard rock record.
First, however, here comes the negative. The production is weak and at times comes across as being struck with the 'microphone-behind-a-wall-and-not-in-the-same-room-as-the-band' syndrome. The band must have had a tight budget. The back cover of the disc claims affiliation with a Femme Metal Records, but a very educated guess would suggest the band on its own budget recorded this. It is too bad.
Musically, the disc has turned out to be a full-length, which means the good and the bad. The disc begins with a big surprise. A few seconds of pure Rainbow change over to a far more brutal style fast complete with barbarism and growling. From there, the band goes through rock, hard rock and metal with the personal favourite being the Hendrix-meets-Black Sabbath of Roadways. The song is complete with its dismal lyrics. The vocals are probably better performed on this song than any other. The disc closes with a track called Thunder Lizard, which would have been the most deserving of lyrics courtesy of its oddball name; alas, it is a jammy instrumental. One would have been curious to find out what the band could have mustered by way of explanation for it.
Arapacis has issued a surprise disc here with much in the way of actual music - will never be heard on the radio therefore - but needs to get its sound value up without going digitally overboard. The band is at www.arapacis.com on the Internet (or “Internets” if you are a retarded right-wing politician excuse the redundancy). - Ali “The Metallian”
ARAPACIS - NETHERWORLD
In my opinion, Arapacis’ newest disc begins with one of its weakest tracks. It must be a matter of taste, but End Of The Line is progressive wanna-be and blasted with synthesizer and so forth. Even the name of the song makes it misplaced. There are better times to be had on (in the?) Netherworld. Beneath Me, where the guitarist proves he can rip it up, is heavy and growly. Why not keep things steady in this direction? Lord Of The Clouds goes after the Candlemass territory. Lizzie Fyre does a female version of the old Messiah (the singer, not the fantasy hero) harmony. By the way, it is not just the music that runs all over the place. Lizzie is Bonnie Tyler, Kat and Angela Gossow all in one. Two more songs worth mentioning. Unbirth has unusual structure and movements. Beautifully Blind has both Police lyrics and GNR acoustic guitars. The lines are “every breath I take” and “every move I make.” All of this is on one disc. Arapacis might tighten up, ditch the weakness, push more of the strength and come out of the Nether World. - Anna Tergel
ARAPACIS – A DISTURBING AWAKENING – RAVENHEART
Arapacis may well be Canada’s hardest working band. Year after year, Fielden and company plough through material, recording, printing, publishing, and then come back with even more the year after. On A Disturbing Awakening, the group has even found and hired Don Airey to contribute keyboards. Next up is the John Gallagher of Raven, but that is later. For now the material rewards are just not there and yet Arapacis keeps marching forth.
The album at hand is a mishmash of mixed results and styles, but where the going is good, the going is very good. Sorrow Of A Lost War kicks the disc off and it is a heavy rock ripper. The vocals are somewhat strange and reminiscent of Firewall Ministry’s Reverend James. The band must know that the vocals are an acquired taste, but either way the voice somehow soon becomes endearing. The riffing is heavy and that is heavy from the ‘70s. The thing rips and the solo that comes in is just added frosting. Making the song even better was an articulate anti-war theme that sits well next to a song like Pink Floyd’s Us And Them. See the band’s monicker after all. Broken Windows, in contrast, is doom metal. By now, it is also clear that the sound is bottom-heavy and the drummer is getting the worst of it. Wanderlust is something fans of early Judas Priest or Cirith Ungol or Saint Vitus need to hear. It is uncannily authentic ‘70s heavy rock. Is Fielden pulling a fast one on us? Did he dig this thing up from 1974? While Ghosts, In Hell I Stand may sound like a thrashing metal song, but its consistent staple is an accompaniment directly pulled from the Led Zeppelin school of song writing. Changing course again is Godless whose evil vocals are pooled with soft female vocals. Is that one of the guys from Immortal on the mike? Just to maintain the diversity and throw the listener for another loop next comes Tearing The Mist – a great title – and its Moog keyboards.
Obviously, the band members do not want to be pigeonholed, which is their prerogative, but this approach is probably costing them in terms of fans and popularity. Eyes Of Malevolence is also worth mentioning here for being an AOR sounding instrumental that is backed by a drum machine ‘toms.’ Iron Heart is just an average slow song.
There you have it. Canada’s hardest working band offers a professional full-length CD and multitude of sub-genres all in one nifty package, which includes dark and atmospheric cover artwork. If Arapacis wants to work even harder, there is the matter of the drum sound and piling things onto a van and touring its home country and beyond. The timing could be good. The album’s title could get some marketing courtesy of the new Disney Star Wars marketing machine. – Ali “The Metallian”
ARAPACIS – SYSTEM DECEIVE
Canada’s hard working Arapacis is back with a new record and there is much to absorb. Listening to the record allows this writer to not only offer Metallian readers a review, but to also explain why this band will not make it. The band and readers will feel down at best and be mad at worst, but let it not be said Metallian is another one of those run-of-the-mill hypocritical commercial rags.
It is so obvious that these guys (really one Jerry Fielden) have worked hard on the record. From the hard rocking opener title track with the lush mid-section to the quiet Streets of Anger, whose title must be ironic, to the cryptic and doomy Extinction to the old school NWOBHM Trespasser (which is a personal favourite) to the you-can-guess-the-style Lady Lonely Blues to the progressive Engines Of Despair, whose title defines capitalism to a T, and on this band refuses to stand still or adhere to one style. This is where a fan cannot clutch on to a certain vaunted style and make the band his or her own. Kudos to the band for doing what it wishes to, but it must be understood that this comes at a cost and the band will pay in terms of popularity.
A couple of other notes: the sound is occasionally amazing and, especially so for an independent effort. Finally, glancing at the intimate photo of the two permanent members in the booklet makes one wonder why other bands do not follow the same style in their official band photographs. Let’s see members of Judas Priest or Slayer or, heck, Cannibal Corpse embrace for their photo in the same way. Ignore the last quip and head over to http://www.arapacis.com. - Ali “The Metallian”