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Apostles of the Cold Northern Riff - 83%

bayern, June 13th, 2017

The thing with this album is that it came after a trio of pretty strong efforts that established Eidolon as the premier metal act on Canadian soil alongside the veterans Anvil. The Drover brothers left their heavy/power metal roots behind concentrating on more aggressive speed/thrash which worked just fine on each of the last three instalments. The fourth showing in four consecutive years, this opus also had to present the band as tireless defenders of the old school faith, being able to retain the high quality after a long string of releases in a manner akin to King Diamond (Glen Drover had a short spell with him/them) and Iron Maiden, and partially Rage, as examples of a prolific, consistently brilliant career.

Having already put their name on the map for the year with the release of the compilation album “Sacred Shrine” a few months earlier, the guys had some of the pressure taken off, but here they were with a brand new recording. For fans who haven’t heard anything from the band’s earlier repertoire, this opus would be a no-brainer from beginning to end as it very nicely presents their style with all its nuances including some from the first two showings. Those who are very well aware of the material on the last three instalments, this album would hardly be the biggest surprise on the scene.

In all honesty, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this opus except that it repeats past glories quite faithfully. Since this is hardly a heresy among the music circles, acts like Running Wild have been doing this since times immemorial, one shouldn’t complain too much, especially after she/he is exposed to “Scream from Within”, the opener, which thrashes with might and vigour the diverse vocal delivery, which even includes something hysterical and deathy at some point, trying to catch up with the flying stylish riffage the latter bordering on the progressive and the technical, quite boldly at that. “Volcanic Earth” deserves its title on all counts, a boisterous headbanger wit ripping, sharp guitars which brings the winds of thrash closer than the last few Overkill albums, for example. “Twisted Morality” is the lyrical respite after this exhausting showdown, a friendly cut taken directly from the first two efforts; but “Demoralized” thrashes harder with more bite as the second half is pure moshing entertainment the guys literally ripping everything apart with the next in line slab of heavy brutal rifforamas.

“The Test” can hardly pass for a real “test” the band aiming at the progressive power metal crowd with more melodic undercurrents; and “The Will to remain” shows “a will to remain” within the borders of thrash, but mixed with speed and power metal as the blend works just fine clinging towards the progressive again with a nice balladic interlude and an even greater fast-paced “skirmish” before the end. The title-track relies on seismic stomping riffs which stride is seldom intercepted remaining mid-paced and hard-hitting without any particular strives at originality. “Pull the Trigger” saves the slightly monotonous situation with a portion of vivid dynamic histrionics although the aggressive thrashisms from the beginning seem like a distant memory. Comes the closer, the 10.5-min behemoth which, after the serene inauguration, starts weaving quite impressive technical mazes with intriguing melodic “excursions” later, but with a couple of impetuous gallops as well; all the mentioned ingredients get repeated in regular cycles as the genuinely faster passages are saved for the second half until the atmospheric operatic finale.

A perfectly acceptable entry into the retro power/speed/thrash metal catalogue of the new millennium, and also into the band’s discography. With a heavy schedule like the one the guys were having at the time one was hardly expecting a masterpiece, but this is far from the autopilot generated sagas that the field started churning in the 90’s (and beyond). If nothing else, they remain faithful to their chosen style without making any mitigated compromises with the staple tools of the trade, and yet managing to achieve a further-reaching symbiosis transcending the borders of three, even four, genres in the process. Yes, they’ve done it before, probably better than here, but there’s never harm in doing it once more with new fans emerging faster than mushrooms after a summer shower from all corners of the world; there must have been some who have started their journey into metal with the album reviewed here…

With the brothers joining Megadeth on a full-time basis in 2005, the future of the band looked kind of gloomy, or at least futureless. Still, the guys pulled themselves together for one more stunt, the excellent “The Parallel Otherworld”, which elaborated on the more complex variations heard here, and also introduced none other than Nils K. Rue, the Pagan Mind vocalist, one of the finest voices in metal of the new millennium, who even managed to impersonate the King himself on the great cover of Merciful Fate’s “The Oath” from… well. The brothers were on fire again regardless of how many metal luminaries they have been teaming up with. And fatigue is again out of the question for them with live spells with Testament and Sacrifice on the line, among other engagements; Glen Drover also found the time to impress further with his axeman’s skills on his solo album “Metalusion” (2011). I guess the only piece of the puzzle that seems missing is… how about a new Eidolon album?

Apostles of boringness and monotonousness ? - 60%

Nightrunner, May 27th, 2006

Eidolon had released three great power/thrash metal albums before this one, all underrated and not getting the critics the albums deserves, then with their fourth album in four years, they make a album like this, and believes the critics will like this more ? I can at least tell you (me being a huge Eidolon-fan), that this album is weak, and most of the songs feel way to repetitive + the really bad singer Pat Mulock, just like on “Coma Nation” he’s sounding the same all the time. No surprises with his voice. Thing is, when listening to Pat’s singing, one really misses Brian’s vocals. On “Coma Nation” Pat’s voice worked absolutely OK, since the songs wasn’t as “going in circles”, and in general feeling as un-creative as the songs on this album. It’s with real sadness I say all these words, and from time to time I do wonder if it’s really Eidolon that has recorded this album ?

BUT, folks, everything isn’t all bad with the release. Just look at the cover, the best fucking cover Eidolon has ever put as an offical album cover, Jan Meininghaus has done a great job with details and colour-themes. A cover that’s beauty for the eye. We also have the production, which as always great when talking about Eidolon. Heavy and kinda raw production as always, without sounding too much like the other albums. Nice work. Regarding the songs, we have the second “Volcanic Earth”, which is a speedy and splendid track, easily the best track on this album. 4th track “Demoralized” is a heavy one, and good too, but really monotonous and long verses. This one does include a classic wicked-Eidolon solo. The titletrack has a great “metal-riff”, and with heavy interlude.

Those three songs are the “good” ones. All others feels like really boring repetitives. Take for example opening track “Scream From Within”, I think the same riff goes through almost the whole song (at least it feels like you’re fed up with the damn lame verses). Pat’s lousy vocals may be a little effect to the weakness of the song. And we have maybe the lousiest Eidolon-song ever on this album, the third track “Twisted Morality”. A melodic and terrible song, maybe they wanted to be on MTV or something. Not great at all, and a fucking stupid main riff, not even the solo is good.

Conclusion: Avoid this album, even if it has some good songs, it’s not worth spending too much money on, and the three albums before this one is much much better, so get those firstly instead. Ah damn, this album could’ve been so much better, but for now, i’m off to listen to some Hallowed Apparition.

Check out especially one track: Volcanic Earth

not really what I expected - 70%

Edd_the_head, November 22nd, 2003

After Coma nation, a superb album, my expections where high. On Coma nation Eidolon took a large step forward. They developed there sound into something I had never heard.

Where Apostles of Defiance going to be a further step into the right direction? The answer is NO.
They havn't done anything with the sound. The vocalist, Pat Mullock is still great and the guitarrs still sound nice and heavy. I can't really complain, but it is always nice if something happens.
The reason why Apostles Of Defiance is less good than Coma Nation is simply because the song are not as good as on the predecessor. I also miss the super-nice epic songs, as the monstruos Within the gates and Pentacle star. On Apostles Of Defiance all songs are pretty good but there are few who sticks out. They have layed all power on making songs that are constant hard with few surprises, very sad.
But I have some favorite songs: "Twisted morality", "The test" and the long "Apathy of a dying world".

Apostles Of Defiance is still a good record that is worth buying (especially if you buy the limited version with Zero Hour as bonus-cd)(I know, insane).