Review Summary: Progressive rock at its finest, Amia Venera Landscape has created a debut that knocks you off your feet, gives you a chance to stand back up, and then proceeds to knock you off your feet again.
Many bands desire to create what music listeners call a "sprawling epic". This occurs often when a band produces a piece of music that causes the listener to feel as if he or she is on a journey of epic proportions. Most bands that consciously try to make this kind of music come off as pretentious and arrogant, and if a band does make this sort of album, it is after years of creative energy and experience is put forth.
And yet, here I am, describing Amia Venera Landscape's debut LP as just this: a sprawling epic. But the Long Procession doesn't just sprawl. It soars.
Listeners enter the realm of The Long Procession with the ear-splitting opener, Empire. With furious screaming and the persistent pounding of drums, Empire is one of the LP's heaviest songs. The soft, soothing piano solo and the close of Empire doubles as a more-than-effective intro to the orgiastic opening post-hardcore riffs of the second track, A New Aurora. Another album highlight, Aurora reaches grandiose heights not reached at many other points in this album.
After the excellent My Hands Will Burn, The Long Procession begins its first descent into ambience with the 8-minute Ascending. If A New Aurora was a peak in the mountainous record being traversed, then Ascending and Glances Pt. I are valleys, towns below where the listener can catch his or her breath. These tracks are gorgeous and haunting, and while they usually aren't tracks one may choose to listen to as stand-alones, they are a crucial element in the flow and structure of the record.
The single, Glances Pt. II, follows, providing extended time to listen to Marco Berton's gorgeous clean vocals. Following this is the album's behemoth: the 14-minute Marasm. The contents of this epic range from calming ambient interludes to thrashing guitar solos to earthquake-inducing drums. Following closely behind Marasm is Nicolas, a 9 minute track that reaches all the album's highs and lows with intense furiosity.
The album closes with another ambient interlude and the fitting closer The Traitor's March.
The soaring, sprawling epic that is The Long Procession will not be forgotten by fans of progressive metal or by fans of metal in general. This is the start of a beautiful relationship with Amia Venera Landscape.