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Apotelesma : Timewrought Kings

Thoroughly well put together and with a mix and production to match: Apotelesma's Gothic/Death/Doom debut.

Apotelesma used to be called Monuments. Apparently, as usual, there's another band out there somewhere called Monuments. Hence the switch. However, Apotelesma's new, and slightly arcane sounding monicker is a suitably improved step in the right direction. As is this debut album, 'Timewrought Kings', which moves confidently on from the 'December Sessions' EP that was released all the way back in 2014 under the previous designation; and whilst the style hasn't altered all that much, the quality of material and clarity of delivery most definitely has. Who wants to be called Monuments anyway?

Let's get this out of the way first. The only thing really bothering me about this release are the vocal growls which from time to time copy that rather annoying modern trend of trying way too hard to please by adding an extra half second of build up at the beginning of each phrase. Popular as it is amongst the Death-Core, Metal-Core as well as Flavourofthemonth-Core, unless you're Jeff Walker from Carcass it's best just left well alone. The clean stuff however is fine, and brings to mind the soulful delivery of Italy's Apnea. The overall balance between the two styles is effective and well placed throughout the album. Deep and sorrowful narrative passages bring My Dying Bride to mind, who must get a mention here, lazy though it might be. (As might Katatonia, Swallow the Sun, and certain choice cuts from Paradise Lost).

Difficult to define in its entirety, 'Timewrought Kings' fuses elements of Black, Death and Heavy Metal together under an umbrella of Gothic Doom. There are some stunning moments of pure Death Doom however, and although few and far between, they certainly pack a punch and add some well needed depth and gravitas to the proceedings. In fact, if Apotelesma had made an entire album in the style of say, track four, 'Our Blooming Essence', then they may well have had something approaching a modern classic of the genre on their hands. As it is, they've gone their own way, cutting a record that is both confident as well as progressively ambitious, even if paradoxically it's a little generic-sounding in places. By way of an example, the Blackened bits are competent and fast-paced, and certainly work well in the structure of the songs, but it's nothing you haven't heard a gazillion times before.

Those who like their Metal progressive and, dare I say it, epic, need look no further. Take the little acoustic intros and atmospheric breakdowns, which are cleverly woven into the fabric of the album. They don't come across as something nice from the rehearsal room that they decided to tack on the record for effect, instead they serve to show how good the song writing is. Whilst not being strictly Doom in the all-encompassing sense, those familiar with Solitude Productions roster won't be surprised, or I suspect disappointed. Thoroughly well put together and with a mix and production to match, you could do a lot worse than give 'Timewrought Kings' a listen, even if the slightly clich├ęd sounding spoken word at the very end takes the sheen off an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable experience.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Aural Emanations
2. The Weakest Of Men
3. Timewrought
4. Our Blooming Essence
5. Remnants

Duration : Approx. 53 minutes

Visit the Apotelesma bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-10-31 by Matt Halsey
Thermal Mass
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