Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review: Apokalyptic Raids - Only Death is Real... (Reissue)

Known as Apocalyptic Raids at this point, without the K and named after Hellhammer's 1984 EP, this Brazilian trio at the time consisted of Necromaniac on vocals and guitar, Sub Umbra on bass and Adrameleck on drums. The band are most well known for their reputable Hellhammer and Celtic Frost worship, with everything from their own band name to album names and tracks being titled after early work from the two occult legends. Despite being well known worshipers in their early days, it seems as though Apokalyptic Raids have gained high recognition for doing such instead of being bashed for their over-the-top exploits, which is rare in itself. When taking a closer listen to the material on the band's debut full-length release, Only Death is Real..., can we find out why it's so accepted from them and not well received from others?

Genre: Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Release Date: January 1st, 2014
  1. The Enemy (Intro)
  2. Evil
  3. Forgotten Tales
  4. Into the Twilight Zone
  5. Eternal Gloom
  6. Angels of Hell
  7. Humankind Dies
  8. Tyrant, Emperor
  9. Apocalyptic Raids
  10. Tales of Horror (Outro)
Total Playtime: 38 minutes, 58 seconds





Rating: 7.5/10




More Apokalyptic Raids Articles and Reviews



Known as Apocalyptic Raids at this point, without the K and named after Hellhammer's 1984 EP, this Brazilian trio at the time consisted of Necromaniac on vocals and guitar, Sub Umbra on bass and Adrameleck on drums. The band are most well known for their reputable Hellhammer and Celtic Frost worship, with everything from their own band name to album names and tracks being titled after early work from the two occult legends. Despite being well known worshipers in their early days, it seems as though Apokalyptic Raids have gained high recognition for doing such instead of being bashed for their over-the-top exploits, which is rare in itself. When taking a closer listen to the material on the band's debut full-length release, Only Death is Real..., can we find out why it's so accepted from them and not well received from others?

In the same spirit from the beloved Hellhammer demos, although they had little choice, Only Death is Real... has the same sketchy 1980's production quality. Coming in after the introduction track, "Evil" doesn't offer much promise for the album, as it's a crazed frenzy of instrument pounding that sounds like the band decided to smash their instruments into the ground, but the ensuing tracks are a mishmash of hit and miss titles that pick up exactly where Hellhammer had left off with their reign of evil in the mid-eighties. Perhaps this is why most audiences of true old kvlt black metal put this release on a pedestal, as it gives the same raw, unbridled energy and diabolical evil that was cut too short.


Unheard in any other album or done by any other band is the very interesting guitar distortion that lives throughout the material that is best showcased in two of the better songs on the record, "Into the Twilight" and "Eternal Gloom". The latter track has short but thrilling solos that stand out high among the obscurity laden instruments and is among one of the few tracks that features a solo. Of course what would older black metal be without a light drum kit that adds in standard blast beats. Some of the work is faint and slightly out of alignment, that is is heard in a few tracks, but is extremely noticeable in "Humankind Dies", and is also where the guitar is also very irritating as it grinds on the same rhythm for elongated periods of time. Often riffs are recycled in varying arrangements, the content making its rounds through simple black metal-punk hybrid composures that are strong with catchy rhythms in "Apocalyptic Raids", "Into the Twilight" and the album's slower effort "Tyrant, Emperor", but fail in other ares like "Humankind Dies" and "Evil". The tracks are hit and miss due to the repetition factor that's present and the black metal vocals do little to alleviate this issue as they are stagnant and unwavering among the majority of content.

All in all Only Death is Real... is a hit and miss release that will really only appeal to fans of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost. Only a few of the tracks stand out among the plethora of worshiping adventures, and the guitar relies far too much on the same riff during some songs. The drums are the most entertaining feature here, as they move from beat to beat spontaneously while incorporating fluid rolls and patterns amidst a large portion of blast beats. The material has potential to be a cult classic and it's easy to see why it has been picked up by Hell's Headbangers Records for a reissue, and it's great for a listen from time to time. Worth checking out for a nostalgic trip back to the beginnings of black metal, this re-release can be picked up over at the HHR webstore now.

Digital Download Provided by: Hell's Headbangers Records

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