Apophis - Heliopolis ©1998 Pavement
1. The Serpent God
2. Choirs Of Bitterness
3. Reincarnation Of The Serpent God
4. Tear Down Your Walls!
5. Resurrection
6. Ein Meer Aus Traenen
7. Dominion
8. Behold His Arrival
9. Nobody Will Miss You

Through no fault of Apophis, my critical ear is burnt out. AD99: for a death metal release to interest me, if not totally enthrall me, it's got to leap right out of my speakers, grab me by the throat and scissor-kick me in the teeth. Such luminaries as At The Gates and Carcass have succeeded in varying degrees to this end. However, the death metal meltdown contained in the grooves Heliopolis does not. German lineage notwithstanding, the flavor is decidedly American; a bassy mix with blunt compositions generally not tempered by melody. The vocals as well are mid rangey, not vile and gutteral like Mortician, nor proud and powerful like Dark Tranquillity, just sorta there, smeared across the mix, again like many a early 90s Floridian death band. Given the technical proficiency, it would seem to me if Atheist or Cynic let their music breathe (theoretically speaking only, bear with me) it might very well resemble the robotic, meanderous musical threads of Heliopolis (especially exceptional opener "The Serpent God"). The net result makes Music Critic Guy largely indifferent. It's not disgusting, which is why I grant a lukewarm recommendation to those who are unmoved by modern death metal contraptions, such as compositional cohesiveness and counterharmony.

Review by Lee Steadham

Review date: 06/1999

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