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Patristic – Apologetica Award winner

by Savely Nevzorov at 12 July 2022, 8:22 PM

PATRISTIC is a two-man black metal act from Rome, Italy. To no one's surprise, their debut record “Apologetica,” released via “Pulverised Records,” manages to avoid the myriads of mistakes a young band would usually make when cooking their first record. The band members are known for being behind several exciting projects, such as Tech-Death bone crushers HIDEOUS DIVINITY or Prog-Death act BEDSORE. No wonder this record sounds simply superb in terms of production and writing quality.

Although I think this record is atmospheric as hell, the tag "Atmospheric Black Metal" mentioned on the band's Bandcamp page may be a little misleading. You will not hear any SUMMONING-style mid-tempo ballads or endless and repetitive guitar scratching associated with this branch of Black, as PATRISTIC prefers to keep it on the Avantgarde-Black side of things. Its music is fast, chaotic, dissonant, and very eclectic. The closest I can compare it to would be such bands as DEATHSPELL OMEGA, PATRISTIC’s Italian colleagues from THE SECRET, or maybe even AD NAUSEUM. Like the bands previously mentioned, PATRISTIC sounds noisy, buzzy, chaotic, and incredibly hypnotic. Music on “Apologetica” strikes with puzzling harmonies and attractive compositional solutions. It’s incredibly eventful and entertaining, keeping you at the edge of your seat for the entire playtime with how seamlessly the fusion of different elements happens. One moment is a glorious atmospheric Black Metal riff that all of a sudden falls into Death Metal territory right when more aggressive drumming enters, only to later drive you further into a gloomy ambient part where a cold spoken-word section will let you catch a breather before moving into another pit of madness with the next part of the very same song. This incredible feeling of versatility and unpredictability makes “Apologetica” stand out.

PATRISTIC sings about the decadence of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christian philosophy in a world where pagan philosophy permeates the Western culture. It resembles an obscure age between the classic world, pagan culture, and Christian totality. Fans delving into symbolism and references will indeed find plenty of material to work with this on record. The lyrics on “Apologetica” are pretty nice and contribute to the overall atmosphere of the record. Another great thing here is the sound. It's very buzzy but perfectly comprehensible. It’s simply a great job!

It’s been a pleasure to spend time with “Apologetica”. Albeit short, it's a "quality over quantity" kind of record. I'd recommend this one to anyone hungry for a good Avantgarde-Black, as well as to everyone who's into more experimental Metal music in general. Let's give these guys our love and support so they can give us an LP next time. I feel they deserve one.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Apologetica
2. Praescriptio I
3. Praescriptio II
Enrico Schettino – Guitars
Jacopo Gianmaria Pepe – Vocals
Record Label: Pulverised Records


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