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Die Apokalyptischen Reiter - The Divine Horsemen

Die Apokalyptischen Reiter
The Divine Horsemen
by Chris Hawkins at 20 September 2021, 3:32 AM

Strangely, despite having been around since ’95 and signed to Nuclear Blast, I had previously never heard of DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER.  Evidently, the band is huge in Europe.  “The Divine Horsemen” is the band’s twelfth album.

Tiki” opens the album up and I could not help but get a heavy “Roots” vibe.  The singer has a tribalistic approach and the guitar sound is low-fi at best.  First impressions are everything and this album completely missed the mark for me.

By the time “Amma Guru,” the third track arrives, my ears are gradually becoming accustomed to the oddly muted guitar sound though I still cannot say I am a fan.  It remind me of those early ‘80s underground Thrash records though without the requisite nostalgia.  It might be a bad omen when one starts counting the number of songs left – in this case, a whopping twelve!

Inka,” the fourth track, was a total left turn.  Most of the nine-plus minutes is an exercise in ambience.  The band then comes full circle ending on a heavy note.  “Nachtblume” follows and has an almost Black Metal feel.  Thus far, this is the best track here and it is over quickly in just over one minute and a half. I have a feeling the drab guitar tone is part of the band’s oeuvre.  It is with sympathy that I think of the producer who had to satisfy that condition.  Far from being low budget, this is just one of those bands one either “gets” or does not.  I do not.

As the album progresses, the sub-SLIPKNOT meets SOULFLY tone constantly grates on my nerves.  Why would someone want a muddy, noisy sound on purpose?  It is like having an ingrown toenail, a nagging, painful reminder ever-present.  Seventh track, “Duir,” is yet another extended snooze fest in atmosphere.  Seriously, the drugs must be great in Germany.  Eclipsing twelve minutes, one must make a significant time investment in such a tune.  Regrettably, I found little return on mine.

Album reviews are inherently subjective; therefore, I was harder on this record than others potentially could have been because of my personal biases.  The band actually sounds their best when in experimental mode.  “Uelewa,” track nine, is another very long example of this.  Ultimately, it all boils down to taste and this is simply well outside the realm of what is permissible.

Songwriting:  4
Originality:  5
Memorability:  4
Production:  4


2 Star Rating

1. Tiki
2. Salus
3. Amma Guru
4. Inka
5. Nachtblume
6. Aletheia
7. Duir
8. Children of Mother Night
9. Uelewa
10. Haka
11. Simbi Makya
12. Wa He Gu Ru
13. Akhi
14. Ymir
15. Eg on Kar
Volk-Man - Bass
Dr. Pest – Keyboards
Fuchs – vocals, guitars
Sir G. – Drums
Ady - Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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Edited 16 October 2021

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