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Hundred Headless Horsemen > Apokalepsia > Reviews
Hundred Headless Horsemen - Apokalepsia

Hundred Headless Horsemen - 86%

Edmund Sackbauer, July 11th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, CD, Inverse Records (Digipak)

The band with the sonorous name Hundred Headless Horsemen has been formed 2014 in Helsinki. After having released a bunch of EPs we have now got their debut full length “Apokalepsia”. Offering six tracks and clocking in at 45 minutes this is a strange yet very interesting piece of music. Their combination of slightly proggy death metal, psychedelic soundscapes and sludge is something which needs a bit time to accommodate to, but once you are in the flow you will appreciate what is going on. You should give this album a concentrated listen to fully catch what is going on and in case you do so you might be rewarded.

With an emphasis on creepy yet funky melodies and an energetic take on the aforementioned genres HHH tear through their compositions in a highly confident and determined manner. The great thing about this offering of theirs is that despite the slightly oddness of the music it is surprisingly easy to get into. The dynamic of the album can be addicting at its best, with crushing and subtly melodic on one side and crazy and ecstatic on the other. There are sections defined by some long and drawn out soloing acrobatics, and there are jazz like moments and a lot of tempo and rhythm changes, although not in a chaotic or hectic way. Often tracks do not simply follow a pop song formula consisting of the traditional verse-bridge-chorus parts. The songs feature arrangements that flow and evolve as each riff and pattern closes.

Melancholic and trippy guitar harmonies are often dwelling in the background while the stoic and hypnotic basic chords are responsible for a dense atmosphere. The fascinating chord progressions are accompanied by melodic trademark lead lines defining the character of each single song. The guitars are thick and quite buzzy, and the main chords have an otherworldly and very moody undertone, which is underlined by the melancholic and hypnotic lead sections. The harmonies have a laid-back feeling, but are really dynamic at the same time. The riffing is kept within the slower/doomy to mid-tempo area most of the time, but comes across immensely powerful.

Lovers of faster and more casual metal might find this boring and start to look elsewhere. While this is for sure not the kind of music I could listen to each and all day I highly appreciate the special atmosphere HHH are able to create. Softer and mellow parts are used to create a dense mood by being cleverly weaved into the crawling riff attacks and the overall picture. Dystopian themes and extended dreamy soundscapes are building sophisticated passages and giving the whole music a mystical and hypnotizing touch. The vocals are mainly bellowed in old school fashion, although there are also cleaner sounding passages and some chant like sections. Thanks to a diversified and organic production the sound is also great. So in case you are looking for something a bit different and willing to dive into something a bit out of the ordinary I can only recommend to give “Apokalepsia” a listen.