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The Apocalyptic Riders
April 2005
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

There are just some bands that you can’t get a handle on. Subsequently, they become a bane of critics everywhere because they don’t fit easily into a single category. Germany’s The Apocalyptic Riders are one such band. Despite the fact that they have existed since 1995 and that SAMURAI is their 6th full-length album, they just will not fit in. Of course, that is both to their credit, and detriment, as SAMURAI aptly proves.

As this is the first album I’ve heard by The Apocalyptic Riders, I had no idea what to expect. After listening to this album a number of times, I still don’t. For example, the first two songs on here, “Silence of Sorrow” and “Rock ‘n Roll” are quite obviously melodic death metal, minus the twin leads. Imagine something that Soilwork would have released around the time of A PREDATOR’S PORTRAIT and you’ll be pretty close. The next song though, “Hey-Ho” is different. It begins again like it could be melo-death, but then it breaks into an extremely melodic chorus with some positively triumphant vocals by Fuchs before breaking back into the melo-death. It’s very weird, but somehow very good at the same time. The rest of the album is just as unpredictable, and the alert listener can hear everything from Slayer, to Children of Bodom, to In Extremo if they listen hard enough.

All of that experimentation and jumping styles makes for a wild listen, but some of the leaps just fall short, like the soft-rock elevator music/reggae-lite of “Lazy Day”, where Fuchs flat out croons. I mean really, soft-rock?!? And “Die Sonne Scheint” is pure So-Cal punk…except heavier and sung in German. Huh? Don’t ask me, but it works.

Adventurous fans might find something to enjoy on this disc, because there definitely is some music on here. If the band could just focus themselves a bit more and leave out the obvious failures, they’d be excellent. Until then, check out SAMURAI and enjoy it for the glorious mess that it is.
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 Aspera Ad Astra
10. Lazy Day
11. Die Sonne Scheint
12. Roll My Heart
13. Northern Lights


Fuchs: Vocals, Guitars
Dr. Pest: Keyboards
Volk-man: Bass Screams
Sir G.: Drums
Pitrone: Guitars

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