Apognosis is the first of two projects from Athens, Greece, featured in this collection. This one happens to be one-man band, with a debut album named Phase 6 that’s set for release on December 25 in a three-panel digipak CD format via Ars Marginalia. Though the album isn’t released yet, it’s available for streaming now.
The introductory riff in the introductory track rings like a warlike fanfare, and it’s so piercingly vibrant that it speared my head immediately. Yes indeed, “Divine Seduction” is an apt name for that track — its violent charms seduced me into exploring the album as a whole.
“Divine Seduction” reveals not only Apognosis‘ talent for crafting irresistible riffs and propulsive rhythms, but also a propensity for lacing the music with eerie, dissonant guitar sorcery and for crafting musical journeys that follow unpredictably branching paths — sometimes soaring in glorious triumph, sometimes bearing down with knives out and grim butchery in mind, sometimes presiding over solemn, incense-shrouded rituals beneath the vault of gothic arches.
The album displays a masterful ability to create changing moods with a constant ebb and flow of energy and pacing, and to maintain a firm grip on the listener’s attention by integrating progressive-minded flourishes along with loads of killer riffs and flesh-rending vocal savagery. (Very cool bass work, too.)
I should probably spend more time with this album before calling it “brilliant”, but that’s the word that’s on the tip of my tongue at the moment.