Apocalypse Orchestra released their debut album, The End is Nigh, courtesy of Despotz Records on May 23, 2017. This quintet is a Swedish band, popular in their club circuit, and is currently one of the most talked about acts due to the theatrics accompanying their songs. Each song tells a tale of different struggles, from the witch trials to tales of love and self-mutilation.
The End is Nigh opens up with “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, which starts off with a medieval, bagpipe melody before being accompanied by drums and guitar riffs. The vocals kick in and sound almost like a haunting hymn. “Pyre” is a song that is going to lead you through a journey of wrongful accusations – immediately starting off with a harder beat, haunting and beautiful. Deep male vocals telling a story are accompanied by even deeper, growling vocals, adding depth to the road the song leads you down. “Exhale” is another song with an eerie start to it, bringing to light questions of mortality and fear of death. Wrapping up the album is “Here Be Monsters” – a drums crashing, groove-filled riffing, bagpipe boasting medley of a song. In this song, vocals combine with almost choir-like backup vocals, before introducing the typical metal growling – a perfect way to wrap this album in a bow and leave you wanting more.
Apocalypse Orchestra is a band you need to check out – simply for the range and depth of their instrumental talents alone. Take a scroll to the bottom of this review and check out the list of instruments for each member, it is astonishing. The talent with which these instruments are wielded on The End is Nigh, combined with the storytelling of the lyrics and vocals, are unlike much of what you hear in music today. This uniquely blended sound is both appealing and mystifying – it will truly provide you with a little green with envy moment – how in the world are some people so talented? How is it possible to even create something that flows the way The End is Nigh does? I don’t know the answer, but Apocalypse Orchestra for sure does.
The Garden of Earthly Delights
Theatre of War
The Great Mortality
Here Be Monsters
Erik Larsson – Lead vocals, guitars, mandola, cittern
Jonas Lindh – Guitars, mandola, backing vocals
Mikael Lindström – Hurdy gurdy, bagpipes, rauschpfeife, backing vocals
Rikard Jansson – Bass, mandola, backing vocals
Andreas Skoglund – Drums and percussion, backing vocals
Bloodrock Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 axes
Written by Har-Lena Quinn for Bloodrock Media on June 5, 2017