Melodic, Folk, Symphonic, Atmospheric… these descriptors have become nearly interchangeable when discussing modern, mellifluous black metal; but while subtle differences in methodology, production techniques, subject matter, and types of instruments used often determine who falls where categorically, some acts like Finland’s Aethyrick have embraced all these descriptors to produce black metal that is truly melodic in every sense of the definition.
Abstruse and enigmatical, Aethyrick have been one of Finland’s best kept secrets for the past five years. Formed on the cold Winter Solstice of 2016 by a pair of faceless apostles named Gall and Exile, Aethyrick have been unleashing mystically charged, melodic black metal at a furious pace ever since.
Instantly impressing a slew of independent record companies with two self-released demos in 2017, Aethyrick stuck to a home-cooked formula by signing to Finland’s Sinister Flame label in 2018, and they immediately set to work writing and recording, eventually releasing their sumptuously striking debut full-length Praxis in December of the same year.
Just over two years later, in January of 2020, Aethyrick returned to release their awe-inspiring follow-up LP, Gnosis, which not only provided another astonishing forty minutes of melodic, atmospheric black metal grandeur, but also proved that Praxis was not just some fluke or flash in the pan. Not in the least. Gnosis bucked the sophomore jinx with ease instead and emphatically stated that Aethyrick are here, very real, and very talented.
But then, well, we all know what happened around the world in February and March of 2020, and although Gall and Exile were already hermitic to begin with, even they’d probably admit that Covid-19’s effect on the world – and the music industry, specifically – hasn’t been any fun to endure. Still, like so many other bands around the globe, Aethyrick put their time in enforced lockdown to good use and got down to business recording the material that would become their third full-length in just five years, Apotheosis.
Due out on January 22nd (and nearly a year to the day since the release of Gnosis), Apotheosis represents Aethyrick’s own ascension into the godlike realm of Finnish black metal superstardom. Containing six celestial compositions that sever the ties of gravity and time, Apotheosis is the first summarily outstanding release of 2021, black metal or otherwise.
From the esoteric openers “Starlit Altar” and “Rosary of Midnights”, to the sidereal majesty of the middle tracks “Flesh Once Divided” and “In Blood Wisdom”, and across the shimmering effulgence of the closing cuts “With Determined Steps” and “Path of Ordeal”, Aehtyrick’s Apotheosis is forty-one minutes of melodic black metal lavishness not to be missed by anyone professing an addiction to the genre; and although this cloistral duo aren’t clamoring for any personal attention through their music, paradoxically, it is the music itself that just might make Aethyrick become a household metal name.
To sample the plentitude of Aethyrick’s Apotheosis, press play below to hear “Rosary of Midnights”, and if your ears enjoy themselves, follow the links provided below to preorder yourself a copy!
Rating: 92 / 100 (A-)
Release: January 22nd, 2021 (The Sinister Flame)
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
FFO: Naglfar, Uada, Gaerea, The Ruins of Beverast, Vukari, Ruadh, Dismalimerence, Gloosh