Article by Corey M.
Irkallian Oracle make a conscious effort to sidestep many death metal conventions on Apollyon. They have been paying attention to the state of death metal over the last twenty years and noticed how many bands have traveled down the dead-end paths of “tech” and “slam” in pursuit of ever-more-extreme brutality. Irkallian Oracle eschew the brutality while trying to retain the creepy, morbid expression.
Unfortunately this poor artistic choice reduces Irkallian Oracle’s potential range of expressive techniques to nearly-nonstop tremolo guitar lines. Unlike the better black metal, these loop very quickly and very often. Mix in hesitant-sounding grunts and gurgles that lack any sort of commanding presence and laid-back drumming that just sounds ridiculous for being so lethargic. Truly this drumming is a feat; I’ve never heard blast beats with the same driving force as the drums in a hair rock, lighter flicking power ballad, but here it is on Apollyon.
Every moment of this album sounds like it should have been used as a build-up, like a segment in a good song that will drop the intensity down before ramping it back up into a crescendo. There are no crescendos on Apollyon. Apollyon is non-stop ramble of low-energy static rumbling, devoid of punctuation or dynamics. There should be a rule for every new death metal release: If it is not at least as intense as Reign in Blood, ditch it and try again (or, better yet, quit trying to make metal forever). Apollyon is less intense than any given Fugazi album. If you hate metal and have a benzodiazepine addiction, Apollyon is probably right up your ass.