Release DetailsLABEL Moribund Records
RELEASED ON 4/3/2007
posted on 7/2007 By:
I find Anedonia very frustrating. As a black metal fan with a soft spot for doom, I really wanted to like Apostolum’s first release, a slab of melodic blackened doom that, at least on paper, sounds a lot like Turn Loose The Swans-era My Dying Bride with a heavy dose of Burzum and a touch of Agalloch’s sense of melody. Due to some glaring shortcomings, however, my high hopes for Anedonia were only briefly whetted, not fulfilled. The intro and outro tracks (“Prologue - Maya Ixtab” and “Epilogue - Days of Crucifiction”) are actually quite moving and set a nice somber mood, but they’re the high points of this little EP, which doesn't bode well for what lays between.
I do like some of the ideas floating around “Dark Deep Waters”. There’s a discernible potential for something pretty good to materialize. But it’s still just potential, held back by songwriting that feels both derivative and haphazard. Incorporating acoustic passages into metal is nothing new: Agalloch’s The Mantle comes to mind as a prime example of doing this well. But Apostolum just don’t have the chops – technically or compositionally – to pull off the transitions and make the admittedly interesting ideas stick musically. It doesn’t help that Anedonia is marred by a shoddy, flat production that could use some more of the low end. I suppose they’re aiming at a raw aesthetic, but it just sounds lifeless to me.
“Anxiety Attack” starts off nicely enough, building with a fairly engaging guitar line – until what sounds like Kermit the Frog channeling Varg Vikernes belts out a throaty rasp from the depths. These vocals are bar none the worst I’ve heard in metal. They’re simply laughable, and they only get worse as the song plods on. In the second half of the song the band switches gears from melodic doom to terribly executed black metal that unfortunately further showcases lead singer Meba’s limited vocal capabilities. What’s worse, the music doesn’t fare all that much better than the vocals. As the eight minutes wear on the song becomes not only boring and overly repetitive, but extremely predictable and downright tedious. This is followed by a cover of Katatonia’s “Brave” that doesn’t do the original justice for the same reasons that the two songs preceding it failed to engage me: both the production and the players are a little flat and emotionless.
I don’t want to sound too critical, but even as someone who enjoys this type of metal, I was left completely unaffected, despite the cool artwork and the cover of “Brave.” Any promising ideas were either too poorly performed to work, or lost in a mess of ill-conceived compositions. The majority of this disc, however, was simply tiring and uninspired. Those in the market for gloomy blackened doom should skip this one.
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