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Aethyrick - Apotheosis

by Chris Hawkins at 22 February 2021, 9:43 PM

AETHYRICK hails from the frozen north, Finland.  Comprised of two members, Gall and Exile, the faceless duo began work together in 2016, particularly on the night of the winter solstice.  Such an auspicious beginning has led to a prodigious output thus far with three full-lengths in their discography including the featured new release, “Apotheosis”.

The Starlit Altar” is the definition of a bombastic beginning.  The air is alight with the moon’s primordial rays peering through the hazy fog.  The melody presented is intoxicating, and the band then properly comes in with a sway, an almost waltz-like feel in the groove complimented by the rage-filled vocals.  The contrast between the harsh vitriol of the vocals and the hypnotic pull of the guitars and bass is where the band really hits their stride.  Rhythmically fluid, they seamlessly shift between tempos from the frantically manic to the plodding.  Keyboards arrive gently toward the latter part of the song adding extra context and elaborating the chords without overpowering the rest of the band.  Sometimes it is nice that it isn’t the ‘90s anymore!

The second track, “Rosary of Midnights,” has a distinctly BORKNAGAR flavor.  It has that rich mid-temp swing that shifts to frenzy mode without sacrificing melody.  The intensity increases and tension is thus created.  When the lead guitar arrives, it swops in soaring like a predatory eagle, not necessarily playing the most technically astounding part but certainly offering an alternative interpretation of the pure melody at hand.

The album has a very absorbing effect, no doubt indebted to the careful production.  The drums have a live, natural feel and the bass is up front in the mix as well.  The guitar tracks are very well blended, especially in the differentiation between the rhythm and lead tracks.  One has to admire the dedication of musicians who are so enslaved to Black Metal that the stand resolute against all trends.

The third track, “Flesh Once Divided,” is like the midway crescendo point for the album.  The atmosphere becomes markedly more electrified in the milieu.  This sets up the unique fourth track, “In Blood Wisdom,” one that has a middle of the road BATHORY-type pace.  By this time in the album, it is clear the band have really reached that destination that perhaps seemed a bit murky initially.

Sure, AEHTHYRICK is not rewriting the Black Metal genre.  For any who are die-hard fans of second wave Black Metal, though, this sacred territory need not be defiled with chic ideas.  Rather, AETHYRICK is like comfort food for those deprived of proper nourishment as ULVER hasn’t been a Metal band in decades, there’s no hint of an EMPEROR reunion, and there will never be another DISSECTION again.  I suppose we should take what we can get.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Starlit Altar
2. Rosary of Midnights
3. Flesh Once Divided
4. In Blood Wisdom
5. With Determined Steps
6. Path of Ordeal
Record Label: The Sinister Flame


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Edited 09 February 2023

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