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After Apocalypse: After Apocalypse

In recent times I've been quite tough on some of the output by well intentioned and extremely hard working Italian label logical(il)logical Records and their Atomic Stuff Promotions partners. Unfortunately it gives me no great pleasure to continue that trend with the debut album from Symphonic Metal outfit After Apocalypse.

That this sextet bring little new to the Symph-party isn't really the issue, for countless bands following that trend have been lauded. No, where the problems lie for After Apocalypse is that their reasonably lacklustre songs are delivered with little life, or passion. Yes, singer Elena possesses power and operatic range, yet she's scattergun in her approach, a few missed notes left in place by way of proof, while her vocal partner, Varghar, heads for the other end of the spectrum. It won't shock any Symph-watcher that his vocals are the harsh male counterpoint to the female high notes. However we're not talking a little bit of gruff singing here, no, Varghar instead is a proper (well, he tries) gutturals sort of chap, his extreme metal outbursts sitting uneasily against the faux Symphonic background. That he also provides clarinet to the mix should bring intrigue and yet, his contributions to "World Of Marzipan" (I didn't make that song title up) or "Dark Side" sound simplistic and contrived – and the more you hear them, the more annoyingly distracting they become.

It isn't all bad, the galloping drums, bass and guitar executed well across the album and when Elena reigns in her vocal excesses, she's a talented lass. The mid tempo, high energy "Insight" and dramatic "White Page", where the clarinet suddenly becomes a real boon, proving that when After Apocalypse keep it clean and simple, the results suggest something of real promise.

I know it is becoming a cliché, however with the sheer volume of bands playing this style of music over the past ten years or so, to stand out from the crowd, something a little different is required. Do clarinet and growls really count as daring and different? I'm not sure they do. That said, if marks were handed out for effort, After Apocalypse would get ten out of ten. However in the end, whether through clarinet, soaring vocals, guttural growls, or stinging riffs, what is created needs to draw you in and put a smile on your face. Unfortunately this self titled debut only does that on occasion and even then, very fleetingly.

Track Listing
1. After Apocalypse
2. World of Marzipan
3. Dark Side
4. Glorious Way
5. Insight
6. Crying Moon
7. One Day
8. White Page
9. Mechanical Mask
10. Sentence

Added: May 21st 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: After Apocalypse on Facebook
Hits: 1109
Language: english

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