26 Oct 2016

Apocryfal: "Ravens"

Abundant confindence makes for music that, if nothing else, passes the time
Every scene has its own trademark sound or fell, and Finland's death metal scene is primarily known as the filthy, strange, doom-laden kind. Apocryfal from Jyväskylä, however, aren't the types to follow suit and as such have taken their band in a different direction - A direction that involves a 3-song demo, adding up to 12 minutes of full-throttle death metal.

The style on the Ravens demo doesn't let itself be pinpointed to a precise definition. Landing iitself in the gray area between decisively old school and shamelessly modern, it borrows from both without leaning heavily to either side. Their six- and four-stringed instruments form the base of their sound with sprawling melodies, flickering with bursts of technicality and elements of tremolo-driven black metal.

"The guitars only add to this with their early-to-mid 90s spirit,"

The rhythm section itself feels well-rehearsed with the drums forming a laudable basis for the remaining instrumentation through a fast and modern approach, encouraging ferociousness all around. The guitars only add to this with their early-to-mid 90s spirit, contrasting and playing against the modernised vocal tracks.

Vocalist Pasi Vastamäki's vocals tend to be sound a bit superficial and held back, and only when he is screaming his lungs out is the job done a hundred percent to satisfaction. This downside brings to the front one of Apocryfal's weaknesses: Their lack of variation and depth. True, the Finnish band's music isn't exactly made up to be something spectacular, but their otherwise ruthless songwriting speaks of an ambition that the vocal lines by themselves don't fully match.

Apocryfal are clearly confident in themselves and their ability, and in this they are not entirely unfounded. This determination imbues the demo with a fighting spirit, underscored by the generally speaking well-crafted compositions. Though their sound is a bit too compressed and, as a result, lacks some guts, their songwriting does the trick well enough.


Released in 2012 independently


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