Release Date: February, 2011

Label: Kyrck Productions)

Not much time has passed since the talk about Norway’s return, in recent worth-mentioning blackmetal acts, the cause being THRONE OF KATARSIS’ last record. If the latter belong to a sect that devoutly, yet inspiringly, follows the footsteps of their “classic” compatriot groups, then bands like APTORIAN DEMON are those that aim to project a reflection of that kind of music to the present.

Of course, recommendations are far more than encouraging. Their debut EP had the honour of a vocal guest appearance by the mighty Vicotnik, while two members also participate to equally interesting MARE (their “Spheres Like Death” EP should find its way into your sound system at some point; if it hasn’t already). There might have been seven quiet years until we had the chance to listen to their new material (released by Hellenic label Kyrck Productions) but even from the first notes of “Libertus” the outcome proves to be worth the wait.

A.D. wisely avoid an intentionally “bad” sound production in the veins of the early 90s (something similar nowadays causes a smile at best, a yawn at worst) and fill their compositions with the highly embraced, crushing riffing once upon a time established by MAYHEM, THORNS, DHG and many more of their compatriots. But they don’t just complacent there. The Norwegians embed fitting acoustic passages to lead the listener into a state of calmness before entering chaos (hear the hypnotic middle part of the 13-minute self-titled track until the epic outburst). They use with mastery the ability of in-depth musical approach to metal, given by that (much forsaken) organ named bass guitar. And finally they colour their tracks in various shades of grey (behold the old-school artwork) by enhancing multi-level vocals to fit different kinds of dark mood.

In the end, APTORIAN DEMON achieve something simple yet uncommon. They distinguish themselves among tons of similar-sounding bands, without being pioneers of anything and for that, one should hold responsible their six (plus one hidden instrumental) solid compositions; one different from the other while simultaneously sharing strong bonds between them in some strange way. If you’re looking for a special blackmetal album that’s still faithful to the genre’s principles, then… bingo!

~ by antifleshnimbus on March 30, 2012.

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