Review 1874 : Apotheus – Ergo Atlas – English

Apotheus‘ slumber is coming to an end.

Four years after their previous album, the Portuguese band made up of Miguel Andrade (guitar/vocals), Albano von Hammer (drums), Daniel Rocha (bass) and Luís Gold Monkey (guitar) announce the release of Ergo Atlas, still on Black Lion Records.

The album kicks off with the gentle Shape and Geometry, which slowly lays down airy melodies before letting vocals and heavier influences join the mix to make it explode. The jerky groove perfectly serves the diversified vocal parts, whether they are howls, melodious flights or more vivid lyrics, eventually leading us into quietness until The Unification Project and its mysterious ethereal touches, which easily allow its rhythm to ignite to become heady. The band doesn’t fail to add some dark tones to the break, as on Firewall which is immediately heavy, but still offers an intriguing catchy approach allowing the musicians to create a dissonance between rhythmic basis and leads. The sound becomes brighter again with Cogito and its melancholic notes, whether riffs are clear or saturated, and we also have these bursts of intense vocals before musicians return to a minimalistic approach to start Ergo Bellum, letting the oppression gradually win over the jerky rhythm, gradually swelling before the inevitable explosion. Massive screams join the steady pounding and more soothing choruses, before March to Redemption leads us into a landscape of ethereal harmonics, sometimes strengthened by a calm but heavier rhythm where vocals intensify. Gentle samples reveal Alphae’s Sons’ quietude, where reassuring vocals settles into the peaceful instrumental, joined at the end by choirs that seem to come straight from a church, before Re:union darkens the atmosphere again. The track remains fairly subdued, however, before the jerky riffs join the party, followed by screams coming in waves to lead us into Re:genesis and its impressive sounds, which remain in a relatively melodic and melancholy register, becoming epic at the end, when vocals catch fire.

Apotheus easily navigates between Post-Metal, Progressive Metal and Doom influences, letting its melancholy flare up to offer with Ergo Atlas as many soothing appeasing flights as virulent explosions.


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