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Apothecary - Drifting Towards the Ancients

Drifting Towards the Ancients
by Te Hao Boon at 20 July 2015, 1:09 AM

I for one don’t feel that Doom has been done to Death, so anytime people complain about how boring, slow, or uninspiring Doom is, I would still not wish for Death to Doom.

This is a new independent release by Death/Doom Metal (see what I did on the previous paragraph?) by APOTHECARY from Little Rock, Arkansas. An important reminder that Doom Metal is one of the oldest form of Metal music, it’s roots from influences such as early BLACK SABBATH and many people consider THE BEATLES“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” to be first Doom track ever recorded. For a genre that has been around since the 70s, you might think new albums under said style would just be rehash of the same thing, “Drifting Towards The Ancients” prove that there is much left to be explored.

This album is done with a fantastic gloomy guitar introduction in an almost Post-Rock style. Imagine EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKIES get their guitars downtuned and started playing. We were then greeted with relatively clear singing about suffering and being “Expelled from time and space”. The feeling of dreadfulness sets in quickly. The voice can be so clear sometimes that it sounds Rush-like. That is not to say it is a bad thing, the vocal style changes according to the sequencing of the sound and the lyrics so everything made sense when they are pieced together.

The productions are done fantastically in this album, it is really clear and it no instrument overshadow the others, everything was balanced really well but not overproduced. There isn’t much Death Metal influence in this album apart from the occasional death growl which feels really in place as it fits the atmosphere of the album really well.

The standout track for me is definitely “Gamma Soul”. The way the crash cymbal sounds was brilliant, the sick slow guitar riff and the bad and the appropriate amount of distortion used made it sound wonderful. Again, the RUSH-like singing was used for the poetic verse and it works really wonderfully, making the lyrics sounds almost like something coming out of a medieval scroll. This track takes its time to paint a landscape, and we were given the image of a wandering soul walking through a cold and empty road that stretches to the horizon. The instrumentation was cold and the drums pauses at the right moment to give the sensation of tired dragging feet. Death growl then came in, and everything became minimalistic, with only the toms toms, like someone so tired and dehydrated that he can hear his heart beating in his ears. Slowly the protagonist get a burst of energy and found the strength to walk through the long and beaten road.

This is one album of epic proportions and paints majestic pictures sonically. Highly recommend it to anyone who like some slow tempo Metal music. Doom Metal has a lot babies on its way and APOTHECARY is a fast growing child.

4 Star Rating

1. Fortune Doesn’t Smile On the Damned
2. Dawn On Me
3. No Void to Feed on
4. Gamma Soul
5. Into the Cauldron
Drew Holt - Guitars, Vocals
Andy Honer - Guitars, Vocals
Brad Moffitt - Bass
Steven Hubbard - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 03 February 2023

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