Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review: Antipope - 3 Eyes of Time (2013)

Antipope [ Website | Facebook | Bandcamp ]
3 Eyes of Time
Violent Journey Records

Antipope - 3 Eyes of Time
There are very, very few things in life that I am certain of. Now that 3 Eyes of Time, the latest album from Finnish Gothic metallers Antipope, has arrived I can add one more thing to that tiny list - fans of late-period Tiamat will absolutely love this album. The band built the album around a crafty use of atmospheric keyboards, engaging riffs, and dark vocals that, combined, result in an experience that isn't necessarily the most unique but is unquestionably very addictive for the average industro-Goth fan.

Right from the opening notes of "Close", which linger somewhere between Marilyn Manson's "Sweet Dreams" cover and just about everything on Tiamat's Prey release, Antipope makes no pretenses about the audience they're playing to. The likenesses to Tiamat even extend beyond the purely musical, as you'd be hard-pressed to discern frontman Mikko Myllykangas' voice from that of Johan Edlund. Myllykangas delivers an admirable impersonation, though there are times - such as on the standout "The River Standing Still" - where he adds a bit of a Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil) flair to his style. This emulation of one of the most recognizable crooners in Gothic metal is justifiable, considering the overall ambiance of 3 Eyes of Time.

While much of the album blends together for a highly atmospheric, melodic joyride, there are a couple of tracks that stand apart due to a recognizable shift in style. "Last Chance", which presents some of the most melodic choruses on the album, ratchets up the NIN industrial influences to sweltering levels. Antipope closes out the album with "Guiding Light", a song that exposes the band's black metal roots through furious riffs, thunderous double-kick, and discernibly heightened aggression in Myllykangas' vocal style.

Those songs aside, Antipope spends the album experimenting with varying synth effects and guitar melodies that - though they never stray too far from the formula - keep the album flowing at an interesting pace. "Exposure", with its scream-a-long choruses and heavy use of atmosphere, is perhaps the song that finds Antipope truly firing on all cylinders and an ideal example of what can be expected from the band.

Originality is not what you'll find on 3 Eyes of Time, but the album is nevertheless an excellent example of atmospheric Gothic metal that has been custom-designed for fans of Tiamat - intentionally or otherwise.

Track Listing
2Last Chance4:35
3The River Standing Still4:18
5White Summer Night4:40
7The Fear of Fear4:57
8A Decomposing Ritual of Absorption5:10
9Them Cacti1:37
10The Logic of Self-Discovery5:25
11Guiding Light2:56
Total Runtime47:06

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