Antipope – Apostle Of Infinite Joy
Fertile Crescent Productions
Release Date: 21/02/2020
Running Time: 44:46
Review by Victor Augusto
Once again, I have decided to navigate through unknown seas, this time going deeper into the world of Gothic music. As I used to say before writing something about a genre that I don’t listen to often, my apologies to the band and fans if I’ve written something wrong, but I’ll do my best to express how amazing I have found the Finnish band, Antipope.
My first impression on hearing this album for the first time was that it was like travelling back in time to 1995 and listen to “The Gallery” by Dark Tranquillity. I could feel some influences from them, especially on a few of the guitar harmonies of Antti J. Karjalainen. However, Antipope’s music goes further than Melodic Death Metal sonority, making it just an (good) Influence, not a carbon copy. The atmosphere created by the band along the melodies is really paradoxical, because the music is a mix of dark and depressive sounds, but the melodies bring happiness to it. Maybe it’s got me confused, but it is what I felt.
The opening track, ‘Harbinger Of Dawn’, demonstrates what I am saying – with clean notes before all the heaviness appears. The great drum lines of Tuska E. help to give a good cadence. At this point, it was simply Melodic Death Metal that came to my mind. But then, ‘Natural Born Heretic’ appears, exploring speed and fast tempos, but you’d be mistaken for thinking that all the melodies and technique would be left behind because of this. They weren’t. And what a great solo from Antti J. Karjalainen in this song, too.
My second impression of Antipope appeared in ‘Intoxicating Darkness’. After a great bass intro from Joni Tauriainen, I felt some Doom influence in the way Mikko Myllykangas sings. This Doom Influence increases with the title track, throughout its seven-minute track time, displaying many variations. Maybe some Blackened Death influences are present in this song too. What I can assure is that even though it’s 7 minutes long, this song is so amazing that you won’t realize the time flying.
The violent side of Antipope returns in ‘Red Goddess’ and ‘Venereal Ritual For Dispersion And Reintegration Of The Soul’ even though the last one has a few slow parts. ‘Serpent Of Old’ is not as fast, but it’s definitely heavy with a good focus on riffing. The closing song ‘0=2’ is a kind of mix of everything you’ve heard so far from Antipope’s music.
As I said before, I am not the most knowledgeable person to talk about the genres I mentioned, but my impression was that Antipope don’t get stuck in only one style. “Apostle Of Infinite Joy” is a lesson in technique and has brilliant compositions. Antipope put in the best of all the styles that have influenced them, and offer a good balance between heaviness and dense atmosphere. The final result is nothing less than an amazing record. For sure, it is one of the best releases of 2020.
01. Harbinger of Dawn
02. Natural Born Heretic
03. Intoxicating Darkness
04. Apostle Of Infinite Joy
05. Red Goddess
06. Venereal Ritual for Dispersion and Reintegration of the Soul
07. Serpent of Old
Mikko Myllykangas – Vocals
Joni Tauriainen – Bass
Antti J. Karjalainen – Guitars
Tuska E. – Drums
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