Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S


The Apocalyptic Riders
Samurai
Type: CD
Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2005
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 2/28/2005
For fans who may need a bit of diversity
The Apocalyptic Riders - Samurai - 2005 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing
1. Silence Of Sorrow
2. Rock 'n' Roll
3. Hey-Ho
4. Wahnsinn
5. Eruption
6. Der Teufel
7. Reitermaniacs
8. Barmherzigkeit
9. Per Apera Ad Astra
10. Lazy Day
11. Die Sonne Scheint
12. Roll My Heart
13. Northern Lights
Well I have decided to take a short hiatus from my Greek metal spinning to concentrate on a new release from label superpower Nuclear Blast. The Apocalyptic Riders, often referred to as Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, gallop into my living room from Germany, bringing with them a new disc of melodic stomping mayhem. "Samurai" marks the group's seventh release and the second for Nuclear Blast. I have only gotten one previous opportunity to ride with these Apocalyptic show boaters, that was on their '99 trip "Allegro Barbaro". At that time I was more focused on lost gems from the 80s and 90s and never devoted much time to the group. I've sidestepped three of the band's releases since then and now I am down to business once again, checking in to see how much the group has improved and how different their sound has transformed.

The band has certainly seen different playing fields through their career, from the underground streets of Ars Metalli Records through the Netherlands with Hammerheart Records/Karmageddon Media. Through the different stages of their existence the band has experimented quite often. From progressive elements to the extreme corners of metal, The Apocalyptic Riders have often embraced diversity and multiformity. With this 2005 release the group have experienced some personnel changes as well. This new lineup is made of Fuch (vox), Dr. Pest (keys), Volk-man (bass, vox), Pitrone (guitar), and Sir G. (drums). Whether it is the new lineup or simply the sands of time, this new version of Apocalypse is certainly a much brighter and more energized stable than the one I experienced six years ago."Samurai" could really be looked at in very different ways. For folks that like their albums slightly more uniform and solid, then this record may buck you off. Others who enjoy albums that really don't have one specific vibe or focus, then look no further than this recording. I am sort of caught in the middle between those two mindsets. I like my albums to follow a certain format or basic structure, with the album held together with a common goal. I like cohesive parts that all work towards one purpose. On the other hand I find that those types of albums don't quite have the staying power. I find myself running through those releases within a week and then shelving them for six to eight months. So perhaps The Apocalyptic Riders are riding into town to wrong the injustices of my playing rotation?

The Apocalyptic Riders or Die Apokalyptischen Reiter really have a unique approach to their delivery. At times this record amazes me with its melodic, death metal flavoring, recalling the finest moments of Soilwork and Dark Tranquility. Look at opener "Silence Of Sorrow" to echo that statement. The band create a turbulent affair built on chaotic, fast, crunchy strings and extreme vocals. Just like the bands I mentioned, this group rises to the occasion with some well placed keys and melodic atmosphere to slow things down and bring in a Gothenburg sprinkling for effect. "Rock 'n' Roll" steamrolls through town in much the same vein as early pioneers like Dominus and Gorefest. The band uses some bluesy styled guitars that get down and dirty with rock and roll charm. "Hey Ho" follows in much the same direction, creating a macabre sort of stadium rock with its anthem chorus.

However "Samurai" doesn't keep that vibe for long. The middle part of the album is a totally different story, sounding like a totally different band at times. From the gothic gardens of "Wahnsinn" to the loudblast soundscape of "Der Teufel", diversity seems to be the one common goal. "Wahnsinn" is built from the same engine as bands like Theatre Of Tragedy and Lacuna Coil. The track builds with speed and deathy vibrations and really sticks true to form with many symphonic styled groups. "Eruption" flows with many punk references, adding in a huge amount of gothic delivery reminiscent of Sisters Of Mercy and Bauhaus. "Der Teufel" recalls the finest moments of early Moonspell, with the group creating a vision of funeral parlors and castles by moonlight. Of course I have no idea what the hell they are saying because the songs are both a mix of German and English. I told you these guys were different, which is a good thing in this situation. "Reitermaniacs" and "Barmherzigkeit" gets back to the business of the first part of the album, and then things take a shift back to faster symphonic styled formats with "Per Aspera Ad Astra". The last section of the album finishes up with three ambient styled tracks in "Lazy Day", "Roll My Heart", and "Northern Lights". The only faster cut at the end is "Die Sonne Scheint", which hints at Swedish power and glory.

With my reunion drawing to a close, I must say that this band has really improved musically. I enjoy artists that provoke thought and constant guessing. These guys create a pattern by not creating a pattern. The songs just flow in whatever direction, whether it is gothic styled poetry or simply the harsh wastelands of grinding melodic death. "Samurai" is a warm welcome for fans such as myself who may need a bit of diversity to keep their eyes and ears open to other shops and avenues. This is a talented band that really showcase their ability to entertain an audience. Maybe I will saddle up with The Apocalyptic Riders
more often.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: THE APOCALYPTIC RIDERS
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
SamuraiThe Apocalyptic Riders
2005
Eric Compton2/28/2005


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: THE APOCALYPTIC RIDERS

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: THE APOCALYPTIC RIDERS
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE POWER STYLED RELEASES:


<< back >>






ERIC COMPTON PICKS
Amorphis
The Beginning Of Times
Mr. Big
Defying Gravity
Tainted Lady
How the Mighty Have Fallen
Sabaton
Heroes
Jackyl
When Moonshine And Gasoline Collide

GREG WATSON PICKS
Not Blood Paint
Believing Is Believing
Edge of Haze
Illumine
Product of Hate
Buried in Violence
Next To None
A Light in the Dark
Shredhead
Death Is Righteous

FRANK HILL PICKS
Overkill
The Grinding Wheel
Born of Fire
Dead Winter Sun
Armory
The Dawn Of Enlightenment
Honeymoon Disease
The Transcendence
Volbeat
Rock The Rebel / Metal The Devil

DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
Deathspell Omega
Veritas Diaboli…
Leprous
Malina
Ensiferum
Victory Songs
Wolf
Legions Of Bastards
Textures
Drawing Circles