Aethyrick - Apotheosis review


17 users:
Band: Aethyrick
Album: Apotheosis
Release date: January 2021

01. The Starlit Altar
02. Rosary Of Midnights
03. Flesh Once Divided
04. In Blood Wisdom
05. With Determined Steps
06. Path Of Ordeal

For a country whose black metal is often as blasphemous and raw as possible, Finland Aethyrick seem to take black metal in a different direction. Not really as far as the death metal equivalent of moving from Demilich to Insomnium, but some of it is shared here.

Finnish duo Aethyrick were formed during 2016's winter solstice by two anonymous musicians, and in that short span of time they have already released three full length albums and two demos. Nothing exaggerated, but certainly a testament of the possibility of a prolific career. Apotheosis arrives almost exactly one year after 2020's Gnosis, but it seems to have been an especially vital year for Aethyrick considering the honing of their craft in between these two albums. And though this brand of atmospheric and melodic black metal might not be anything new, especially for a Scandinavian band, it's always great hearing it done with so much passion and skill.

So, as I mentioned, the black metal sound of Aethyrick is one that is atmospheric and melodic, but the problem with those terms is that I can easily apply them to about ten different sounds within black metal. Heck, I just reviewed another black metal album that I can describe as melodic and atmospheric, and yet they don't sound too much alike. The material on Apotheosis is a lot cleaner and more expansive, with the vocals being the most clearly grounded in traditional black metal, sometimes contrasting a bit too much with the rest of the sound. The guitar playing however dabbles a lot in traditional black metal too, but makes it warmer and more triumphant. Couple that with some creative drumming that doesn't rely too much on simple blasts.

Though the songs are mostly in the 6-8 minute range, Apotheosis is absolutely fantastic at keeping up its momentum and flowing between sections and songs. But the cherry on top are the moments when the keyboards kick in. As much as these have often been used in black metal to add some cheese factor, here they work marvelously to create an even more immersive atmosphere, as if the warm guitars weren't enough. The sound manages to be gorgeous, but without slipping into post, gaze or folk territories. This is not soft. This is clearly a black metal band, intent on making black metal, but it giving it a sense of grandiose and triumphant atmosphere. There is a feeling that there is potential for even more in the band, especially considering the growth they've shown in their career so far, but even as is, Apotheosis stands pretty tall.

I'd also be remiss not to mention that the cover artwork is one of the final works of Timo Ketola, who died last October. As much as I'd have to give credit to the band for their amazing brand of melodic black metal, half of the album's impact comes from how terrific the cover art is.

R.I.P. Timo Ketola (1975-2020)


Written on 29.01.2021 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 67 users
30.01.2021 - 05:10
I really enjoyed the album, would say higher than 7.5 but not quite an 8.
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Hits total: 861 | This month: 7