“Before the Gates of Gomorrah”

By Dr. Abner Mality

For such a green and folksy place, Ireland is producing a lot of evil death metal lately, of which Apostate Viaticum is a part. The cover art promises something epic here, let’s see if they deliver.

On the surface, these guys should be right up my alley. They are grim, morbid, massive and put a good degree of thought into their punishing music. Yet this record really fails to click with me and it’s tough to put a finger on why. Taking their cue from Immolation and Incantation (who both should have something new out soon, by the way), they mix dragging doomy riff with blasts of raging speed. Somehow it just seems to grate on me. The vocals might be part of it….they aren’t the usual guttural or cavernous growls. They just kind of annoy.  Now these guys can come up with some real bulldozing doomriffs, particularly in “Moloch the Sanguinary” and “Anathema Inherent”, but others just kind of plod along and flow over your brain.  

I don’t know, maybe I’m just hearing too much of this kind of stuff recently and its having less effect on me, but Apostate Viaticum have fallen short here, even though they have the right idea and the tools to implement that idea. Maybe the next time around will be better.