Nocturnal Art Productions, 2002
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
2. The Maimed God
3. Raise the Dragon Banner
Don’t let the fact that there are only four tracks on this album fool you because this is a full-length album. Not to mention it is a full-length debut album by a one-man project. Now within the Black Metal scene there are a number of one man projects and I must say that this is by far one of the best solo projects I’ve ever heard.
Newly signed to Nocturnal Art Productions, Apotheosis has spent many years in the making of this album. With songs dating as far back as 1995 and 1997. I can tell that each song was recorded and written with the utmost precise care one can within a studio setting. It is simply amazing at how well a person can sound with programmed drums these days. Following in the footsteps of bands such as Limbonic Art, Apotheosis has decided to also program the drum lines. However, with recording technology at such a high and realistic level even programmed drums are difficult to tell from real drums these days. So the fact that the drums are programmed takes little away from the album as a whole. Rather there is probably an even higher degree of precision for I imagine it would be hard for a computer to go off time when recording. Be that as it may, the programmed drums do indeed sound quite magnificent in the overall presentation of this album.
Each song is of great epic length, bringing four tracks into a full-length album as many could have guessed. The album starts off with a very majestic keyboard intro that brings people back to the days of medieval times. The interesting twist added amongst the medieval tones is the Thrash influence. I understand the old and Symphonic Black Metal influences, but the Thrash was an unexpected surprise. I feel it adds more to the album overall and I think that other listeners would also find this a great addition to a Black Metal album. This particular songwriter is no doubt influenced by Fantasy and Medieval based worlds for he names himself as the ultimate evil character in Lord of the Rings; Sauron. It’s a fitting name really, for the music he plays is not of the happy medieval nature as some bands lean towards, rather it is evil and quite sinister most of the time living up to the evil connotations of the name Sauron.
Each song is masterfully composed bringing the listener through realms of melodic Black Metal to true Medieval Musicianship with realistic sounding instruments. Truly the composer, Sauron, has spent many years working and fine-tuning his own musical skill. For he shows great skill at his ability to play guitar and piano, not to mention his apparent understanding of drum lines. Overall this is quite an incredible album to behold for it is few Black Metal bands that even attempt to do this style. I wonder if newer Apotheosis material will be different, because the main songs on this album were written so long ago, that the songwriter may have changed his overall style also. Either way, this is a superb album, and I highly recommend it to everyone and should be sought by those who greatly enjoyed the Black Metal of the mid-nineties.