Review DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER ‘The Divine Horsemen’

Die Apokalyptischen Reiter fit into this period of time, years when unpredictability became the new normal. In years of uncertainty one thing is certain. There is no real label that describes Die Apokalyptischen Reiter and whatever the next album will offer, be prepared for surprises and twists.

The Weimar-based metal enthusiasts continue with experimenting with sounds, ways of working and music. This time the guys recorded an album that is far away from a cookie-cutter approach. ‘The Divine Horsemen’ is rather a recording that builds on improvisation and musical freedom. Nothing on this album follows any tradition more than the mentioned surprises that come with each of their longplayers.

‘The Divine Horsemen’ is built on improvisation without rehearsal. Twisting and tweaking wasn’t part of the process either and what fans get to hear is the pure essence of a two-days creative process with ‘Tiki’ being the first chapter. The tribal-driven opener surprises and entertains right away. There is no way of not being impressed by the rhythmic foundation and an almost hypnotic expression. And there is no time to rest after the opener. ‘Salus’ is a sonic blast that hits you in the face right away. Not too long and straight to the point, ‘Salus’ is a brutal riff attack that is in big contrast to the atmospheric ‘Inka’. The latter is more of a sound collage that shows the entire bandwidth of what Die Apokalyptischen Reiter can deliver. And just that things don’t get too sedate the band sends with ‘Nachtblume’ a next smasher.

‘The Divine Horsemen’ lives by the twists and variations. Although some of the songs follow a similar pattern, each of these tracks has an own identity. ‘Duir’ for example is with 12 minutes a musical marathon that shows parallels with’Inka’ and still breathes an own spirit. The track slowly builds up towards the end and raspy vocals add some heaviness to this musical curveball. However, the principle of an atmospheric milestone stays untouched. ‘Uelewa’ comes with some German lyrics and ‘Wa He Gu Ru’ is more of a straight rocker that unfolds right away. 80 minutes of a very special musical ride come to an end with ‘Eg On Kar’ which is another highlight where rawness meets ambient.

‘The Divine Horsemen’ asks a lot from listeners. There is not the easy standard pattern of verse, bridge and chorus. This album has layers and is a musical kaleidoscope that changes perspective more than ones. In a way it reflects Die Apokalyptischen Reiter musical vision and it also fits into the today. What is reality right now might change in a moment, in real life as well as on this cosmic journey through the musical galaxy of sounds. Expect the unexpected, even after 25 years.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Tiki
  2. Salus
  3. Amma Guru
  4. Inka
  5. Nachtblume
  6. Aletheia
  7. Duir
  8. Children Of Mother Night
  9. Uelewa
  10. Haka
  11. Simbi Makya
  12. Wa He Gu Ru
  13. Akhi
  14. Ymir
  15. Eg On Kar

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Experimental Metal

Release Date EU: July 2nd, 2021

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