Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Ars Magna Umbrae - Apotheosis



Here's a suitably evil one to kick off a Sunday - Ars Magna Umbrae are back after two years with Apotheosis. Their frightening brand of avant garde black metal is intimidating, powerful and guaranteed to go for the throat. The creepy soundscapes they conjure up are varied and ever shifting. It's hard not to be entranced with the unique ways that the music of Ars Magna Umbrae twists and turns, guiding you ever deeper into their distinct brand of sonic madness. The breadth of their sound is intimidating with tormented ministrations dragging us into the depths of hell.

Really what makes this record special though is the overall quality of the production. There are a lot of layers here and the way the guitars interlock on a track like 'Of Divine Divergence' is really crucial. Counterbalance this with some truly excellent vocal performances and you've got yourself a record that is almost intimidating in its sense of raw power and dirty looks. The dreamlike quality some of the melodies provide only serve to make this an ever more fascinating offering. Really - the entire record comes together in a surprisingly and wonderfully intricate way that ensures that Apotheosis maintains a place in any black metal nerds regular rotation.

Apotheosis is a thrilling record. It's extremely dense and demanding though. Those of us who are not already deep into the lore of a label like I, Voidhanger are going o have ahrd time with this one. That being said - for the scattered few for whom this type of avant garde and deeply arranged black metal is a way of life then it is going to be hard to turn off the mighty arms of madness that Ars Magna Umbrae evoke and the tormented unrealities that serve to make this a stunning record that will have devout fans coming back again and again.

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