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Apotheus - The Far Star Award winner

The Far Star
by Laura Glover at 08 October 2019, 11:20 PM

After a long wait Portuguese metal masters, APOTHEUS, are finally back in the scene with the release of their new album “The Far Star”. APOTHEUS originated in a tiny town in Portugal, Pacos de Ferreira, whose population is a mere 7491. Although they came from a small town, they boast huge sound. Their first album, “When Hope and Despair Collide”, was well received in the world of melodic metal and ushered us to their new venture. Release date, October 31, 2019 through Black Lion Records, “The Far Star” is a different approach to metal than their first album. Indeed, their Prelude jumps right in to quote the albums namesake influence. "And it came to pass that AC learned how to reverse the direction of entropy. But now there was no man to whom AC might give the answer to the last question." -Isaac Asimov from Robot Dreams.

The band consists of Miguel Andrade on vocals, Luis "Gold Monkey" on lead guitar, Daniel Rocha on bass, and Albano von Hammer on drums. “The Far Star” takes its influence from one of the most prolific authors in fantasy/sci-fi and each track tells a greater piece of the story. Told as a storyline to the chronicles of mankind's ancestry; its melodious introduction eases you right into a stoic mindset. Piano softly pulling you into its depths, not to release you until its poetic, fantasy driven end track. “Caves of Steel” - after the prelude is inspired by the book of the same name. "Look around and see / Is this everything you want it to be? / Fate does not look so bright / Under this cold dying light / We will fear the night." This song starts the storyline with synthesized keyboards and powerful guitar chords, with a combination of guttural male vocals as well and cleaner vocals set to an upbeat melody. The keyboard throughout the song really keeps you on track to the journey this album takes you on. This song inspires some existential life questions, "Won't you see the world how it is?".

“Resolve to Remake” opens with artfully played guitar, leading into heavy vocals. This song tells us "something greater is about to unfold" and I just sit back and close my eyes and listen to this fantastical story play out. "Is anybody there for me / is there any life for us?" with a tune that lends to this loneliness epically. This journey is both fast and hard, as Luis "Gold Monkey's " flawless execution of guitar chords and melodies guide us emotionally through its valleys; whose peaks leave you breathless, leading to the softest of meadows in its depths. “The Darkest Sun” - Sorrowful entry to a web of emotions capture me, takes me to a place of thoughtful introspection. Speaking of sadness, its whole composition captures that well; from its soft entry to its heaviest notes. Miguel Andrade's amazing voice and awesome vocal range is showcased well in this track, truly this guy can go from the wickedest growl to the most soulful, clean vocals. The contradiction of the synthesis and clean vocals to the growls and power guitar chords creates a cool effect akin to a musical yin and yang; the light and dark, pretty and ugly, truly hits one's emotional centers on the mark.

“The Brightest Sun” - Once again, we are met with beautiful piano set to soulful lyrics. "Another reason has brought us to the past / Memories are so deep and fast / And we are, and we are / Under our brightest sun / We remember what has been done / All those years have passed away / Darkness turns into a new day". This takes one swiftly from the nostalgic place we were left in and promptly brings in a hopeful spell. Like awakening from a fog of doubt, or recovering from an emotional void and finding oneself in the light. Hark, the sadness need not last. We remember and the day is new. “Under a New Cloudy Sky” - Albano von Hammer leads in with some haunting drum beats, accompanied by harmonious and soft guitar tunes. Then leads into a faster beat with those amazing lead vocals we have come to expect with this album. Each beat of this track displays the aching beauty of melodic death metal. With melodies that perfectly marry its hauntingly gothic bride, poetic lyrics. As we are left to fall deeply in love with its softness, complemented so well by its harder side.

Overall, this album was creatively written, with its influences in sci-fi culture. The futuristic vibes and fantasy overtures easily lead us through the maze of emotions in the storyline. Written in an unusual format, “The Far Star" is a story that begs one to sit back and listen track by track as each chapter unfolds in each song. From harmonious melodies to heavy guitar, this album has it all.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Prelude
2. Caves of Steel
3. Redshift
4.Resolve to Remake
5.The Darkest Sun
6. The Pull of Plexus
7. Save Our Ship
8. Under a New Cloudy Sky
9. The Brightest Sun
10. Staring the Abyss
11. A New Beginning
Miguel Andrade - Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Luis "Gold Monkey" - Lead Guitar
Daniel Rocha- Bass
Albano von Hammer - Drums
Record Label: Black Lion Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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