Apostasy - Cell666 ©2004 Black Mark
1. Crowned In Thorns
2. Infernal Majesty
3. Cell 666
4. Icon
5. 7th Throne
6. Beneath The Lies Of Prophecy
7. Reign Of Chaos
8. Beauty Of Death
9. Metempsychosis

According to the official biography, Sweden's Apostasy has been around for quite awhile, long enough to have existed through the Polite Black Metal movement spearheaded by Dimmu Borgir. Don't let the corpsepaint and frilly outfits of Dimmu Borgir scare you. I suspect that on weekends, the members go the local nursing home and read to the elderly. That's how polite keyboard laced black metal has become since 1994.

So while black metal when through a series of cycles and eventually split into the various factions of "true and grim", "raw and necro", "shake and bake" and "keyboard and lacy", Apostasy has been shoved to the side, brought back and now are just about to be shoved to the side again. Cell666 is the band's first full length CD of their career and let's just say that even if it had seen the light of day in 1996, when this sort of stuff was fresh, it would have been valued lower than even Ancient. And we know how Ancient is regarded. The band relies heavily on frolicking keyboards while the guitars stick to basic riffs. Unfortunately, the production does not flatter anyone in this bands, sounds as though a very large man sat on the master tapes and squashed the overall sound. Worse yet, Apostasy's songwriting is about as innovative as the comedy of the third sequel to Police Academy. This stuff has been done, overdone and then done yet again. The only area where the band shows aptitude is in the keyboard passages. Chances are they could do well writing the New Age Album for Black Metal Fans who don't know they should be New Age Fans. As long as you paint your face and never smile in promo photos, you can be black metal and new age all at once.

So given this band's length of existence versus their output, I'd say that Apostasy is many days late and way too many dollars short. We're talking about a sound that should have been foreclosed on many years ago. At best, this is the kiddie version of Stormblast and at worst, it's a waste of forty minutes. But don't worry, I'm sure Apostasy is working on their version of Spiritual Black Dimensions. Just don't tell them half a decade has gone by since then.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2004

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