Irish/Brazilian black metal duo Apokathilosis (which means ‘denailing’ in Greek) are unleashing their debut record ‘Where Angels Fear to Tread’ (one of my favourite Dismember song titles) to spread the word about anti-religion through that classic method; scathing black metal. It looks to be an interesting melding of two polarising black metal methodologies.
Opener ‘Awaken Thee’ is much more of the 90s black metal style, like Satyricon rather than the vicious South American, nor the sublimely epic Primordial. Although atmospheric, it isn’t overly so, concentrating more on a thunderous battery and some open riff patterns that are simply awesome. Not content to simply clone the likes of Darkthrone, the crashing title track thrashes like Gorgoroth but with a warmer touch. Each instrument contributes equally, creating a rounded experience.
There’s still plenty of frost about their riffs, like the hypothermic assault of the Immortal-like ‘To Die a Thousand Deaths’, but it is released with an ear for great melody and well crafted atmosphere. Apokathilosis and their lyrics explores spirituality and philosophy, and this album feels like an exploration of forces greater than us. A glimpse of the forces behind the wall of frost and blackened snow. This is best shown in the graceful ‘Ashes’, or the atonal gloom that envelopes ‘The Untameable Human Spirit’.
I like what Apokathilosis bring to the table. They have a solid black metal foundation on which they have begun to layer their work with melody, atmosphere and lyrical interest. I look forward to see what else will be coming from them, as ‘Where Angels Fear to Tread’ is a great piece of black metal art.