Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Death is June -Hundred Headless Horsemen : "Apokalepsia"

 This is the fourth death metal band I have reviewed from Finland this week, I know we are in death metal month, but they are going to blow Sweden of the map if they keep it up at this pace for 5 more years. Of all the bands this one might be the most different. There are progressive elements in the atmosphere being kicked up here. The overt battery of ear drums is perhaps dialed back a little, but they are making some beautiful dark music so it works for me. Which says a lot considering the first song is over 11 minutes long and I am normally not a fan of opening an album with a long song.  When they begin to work in the angular progressive elements in a more overt fashion on the second song, it is not an obtuse exercise in over indulgence , but something that serves the song and engages. Does it push the limits as far as what we might define death metal as ? Yes but isn't that the point ? 

There are some moments on this album where they bust out straight up rock riff and jam them the fuck out which I can really appreciate.  "Breath of Death" might be the album's least death metal song as the gallop that drives the bulk of it owes way more to classic metal . They pick up where they left off there on "Echoes" which is a darker more death metal infused song.  There is more of an epic charge to "Spleen". It reminds me a little of Opeth .  Some of the more deliberate and aggressive groove might dig in a little more like old Mastodon. So melodic progressive metal is what they do , death metal being more of a dynamic they go to rather than just being able to be filed neatly into death metal to define who they are as a band . 

Things get even more melodic on the last song "Cataclysm". Cleanly sung vocals drift in and take things back to more of a 70s prog vibe. Midway into the song things actually get metal and take on a more aggressive chug while the vocals coast over it .  Not the album's strongest song to end with, but it works . I will give this album a 9.5, not what I was expecting and way more prog  than I bargained for , but really well done and look forward to hearing what the future holds for this band .

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