(CD Maximum)

MARK: 78/100



If 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 mercilessly.
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...


E-mail: darkgrail@newmail.ru