I'm not wrong, this should be the second CD for this band hailing from
the province of Moscow, which still hasn't found its perfect incarnation,
yet the CD tends to offer a bunch of ideas that make me hope for the
best in future.
The 5-piece (currently a 6-piece with the addition of the seducing keyboard-player
Tanya) is prone to mix melodic Swedish death metal with doom metal,
as immediately shown in the short opener, "Ascent Downwards",
a mid tempo in the sign of melodic death with a short guitar solo on
the main riff.
Rapid and launched from the start with a thrash riff, "Script
for the Play", includes death but not very brutal vocals, several
breaks and classic metal riffing, elegant licks and a black riff in
the end; the final axe solo is slow and really cool. Then it's time
for "Sinday Morning", aggressive first and then fucking
thrash metal, enriched by catchy choruses alternated and sustained by
dynamical drumming; because it contains the best 6-string solo, it could
but become my favourite track.
Those who go nuts for early Kreator will rejoice hearing the second
riff of "The Outcome", followed by brutal vocals and
then a part of melodic Swedish death metal, made more interesting by
an arpeggio after a solo, while "Half Way Down" is
a 3,5-minute instrumental piece starting with keyboards and an acoustic
guitar arpeggio, to which orchestral samples, thunder, and chirrupings
are added; definitely abundantly symphonic.
Great is the initial guitar riff of "Reflection of Sorrow",
then turning to a Dark Tranquillity style with a middle doom-death part
memorable for the 2 guitar work, first different, then twinned; I suggest
you also read the lyrics of this track, showing the band's point of
view about humanity, seen with a large quantity of unbiassedness. Artemesia
seemingly bet a lot on this composition, and that's why they've also
included the pertinent videoclip live.
Another delightful song is the bulldozer titled "Wait for A
Vile", the most brutal one, even though it doesn't disdain
to display a melodic riff and axe solo, on which Evgeny Gradov sings
Many won't understand this intermezzo, nevertheless "Cradle-song
for the Unborn" is a successful try to destabilize people's
inner balance; probably based on an infanticide, this wicked track is
composed of oniric sounds, sometimes tender (like the squeaks), but
often morbid, disturbing (like the drill on the poor newborn), chewings,
mocking laughter, desperate cries and shouts: a sheer nightmare fit
for a horror movie!
More Dismember/Hypocrisy than "Cain" is impossible,
which is another doom-death example of elevated quality and almost devoid
of melody, whereas the outro "At the Very Bottom" exploits
a melancholic arpeggio and piano lines, some bucolic, others sad.
The recording seems to be the main fault here, I mean the cymbals echo
too long and sound fake; moreover some guitar riffing isn't cutting
enough, the bass isn't prominent and occasionally the tom-toms turn
out to be artificial to my ears, therefore I recommend the 5-piece to
entrust a professional mastering house and spend more time working on
the mic positioning and mixing frequencies so as to avoid such problems
next time. Anyway, the primary aspect remains the songwriting, and that
is far more than encouraging in this "Apocryphal",
therefore I expect a superlative 3rd effort from Artemesia.
As for you, I can just say this record takes off after the 3-4 listens;
be patient and enjoy its hidden treasures...
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 12/7/04