The Pitch: "Invictus Productions is proud to present Apologoethia's highly anticipated debut mini-album, Pillars. What results is a hysteric-yet-nuanced plunge into the realms of madness. Exploring the dark side of human knowledge, an introspection through different cultural, ascetic, and religious approaches mankind explored throughout centuries past, Apologoethia here construct ceaselessly roiling monoliths of diabolical metal mania." FFO: Cult of Fire, Death Karma, Cultes des Ghoules
What I Like: Apologoethia isn't the most original black metal project out there, but in a genre so bloated with artists, it's important to take the time to appreciate those who get it right. The atmosphere, instrumentation, and basic rules are all followed perfectly to create a consistently enjoyable black metal experience. Furthermore, they do it at a level above the average. For one, the pacing is invigorating. The album opens on a doomy, moody note not unlike something you might here on Emptiness' Nothing But The Whole, but a few minutes in it abruptly takes off into a ripping bit of old school blackened thrash. There's even an excellent tapping guitar solo amidst the Venom and Bathory-influenced hooks.
These variations in speed and style persist throughout the album, incorporating hallmarks that generate oodles of nostalgia for fans of the early days of the genre. But there are some more modern touches here and there as well, namely the Middle Eastern-sounding interlude towards the end of the closing track. This moment really added an extra layer of intrigue and atmosphere late in the game to great effect. And when that organ swells, I couldn't help but think of works from Infernal Vlad as well. More please.
Critiques: As mentioned, this album isn't expressly doing anything new. However, I do hear potential for more of this in the future given the aforementioned touches on the closing track. Apologoethia would do just fine at their current pace, but if they want to step up their game I would suggest continued experimentation in this area.
The Verdict: Apologoethia is some of the better standardized black metal I have heard in 2017. If you feel like breaking out the battle vest and corpse paint, then you should definitely add this one to your collection. Few have such a grasp of the old school ways.
Flight's Fav's: Pillar I (De fundamenta spiritus), Pillar III (De absentiae vitae)
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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