Take a modern Power Metal like Sabaton, Orden Ogan or Warkings, add some pathos and pseudo-church organs lavishly like Powerwolf and some calls for apocalypse with a little bit of heresy to lyrics like Ghost or named Powerwolf. Mix it well, add cassocks with masks (almost like early Ghost) and call it resonantly using Metallica/Apocalyptica formula. Did it? All right, so now you have a new band called Apostolica with their debut album Haeretica Ecclesia.
There is no information about the band at all like it popped up out of nowhere. Everything is so classified that even press-release says: “…hyped yet mysterious project featuring some of the finest musicians of the international heavy metal scene.” There are no names here as well, just biblical monikers: Ezekiel (vocals), Isaia (guitars), Jonas (bass) and Malachia (drums). A thoughtful outfit is hiding their exterior: nice masks, long clothes with a clerical hint and corpse paint. The main theme for their music is the “Book Of Revelation” (aka Apocalypse). With this, musicians said they revisited it in a modern-day key but as for me they just chose the path of simplicity. However, it doesn’t really matters.
Ok, but what is Apostolica musically? As I’ve already said, it is a modern Power Metal with very wide use of keyboards (which are dominating in music usually) and incredible amount of pathos, just like the concept needs. Musical patterns can be hardly called “exquisite”, they are pretty simple and sometimes generic. All ten songs in the album have the same structure: smooth verses, melodic choruses and catchy bridges. Nevertheless, it works well altogether and you don’t want to turn the music off while it can be easily said which note the band will play next.
Actually, it can be easily said what the listener should expect in the next 50 minutes when he will listen to the opener “Sanctus Spiritus”: intro with organ and gloomy choirs, powerful drums, smooth guitar riffs, relatively simple solo and melodic, catchy chorus. Overall, it’s rhythmical and quite buoyant, choirs with Latin lyrics add some mystically clerical vibes which goes really well along with Ezekiel’s hoarse vocals. For the great justice I need to say that there is some variety and playing techniques in this album, like a drum pattern in “Pollution Is My Name” (double kick suddenly) and pretty good Neo Classic guitar solo in “Famine”.
However, it will be hard to get rid of the feeling “I’ve heard this already” when you’ll listen to Haeretica Ecclesia: “The Sword Of Sorrow” sounds quite close to Sabaton, especially when Ezekiel sings with the rumbling “R”, while bass in “Thanatos” intro obviously refers us to “Heaven And Hell” (or “Warriors Of The World”). There are very familiar melodies in “Famine” and “The Dusk Is Coming” intros as well but I can’t really recall what it is. Nevertheless, I can’t say there is a plagiarism in Apostolica‘s music. There are some generic patterns, some common Power Metal things and let’s not forget about pretty narrow genre scope. I agree, some songs sound quite similar but I personally can live with it.
You know, I can be pretty much ironic and describe Apostolica‘s music with some leniency but I also need to commend the band: these guys know how to make music that will stuck in your head for days! Just listen to the first single “No More Place In Hell”, great bridge in “Pollution Is My Name” or the main guitar riff in “The Dusk Is Coming”. I won’t conceal, I’ve listened to Haeretica Ecclesia for a couple of days and really enjoyed it. I’m sure that many Power Metal fans will do the same. Well, that’s interesting what will the band do further, especially when they signed a multi-album deal with a known label.
Haeretica Ecclesia will be released on September, 17th via Scarlet Records.
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