Apocalyptic Visions

VAN 2007

Apocalyptic Visions?  More like visions of the ash strewn and devastated aftermath.  This German black metal outfit plays bleak and desolate black metal in the no-frills primitive vein.  To this hellfire they have a mild sense of grim melody and even some "Black 'n Roll" grooves.  Some of the songs are killer and achieve their goal of total extermination such as Command for Genocide and Blasphemy.  Others sort of drift off and pass by unremembered.  Crucify (the Scum) has a nice rockin' beat  but sort of loses itself in repetition.  Interitus Christianorum is completely faceless when compared to the rest of Apocalyptic Visions.  And as soon as I am lulled into boredom a face smacking war hammer like Welt in Flammen crushes my skull with its memorable shout (errr. scream) along chorus and tank cannon riffing.  In contrast to all the blast beats that are heavily sprinkled throughout the record, Warbrigade keeps them sparse resorting to slower and more mournful riffing for the song's first half before speeding away like an out of control freight locomotive!  The production is raw and trebly but also fairly well mixed with only some rough spots with the drums being too loud every now and then.  The raspy vocals become sort of monotone and uninspired by the end of the album.  Everything I have ever heard released by VAN has been exceptional but Genocide is just sort of average, middle-of-the-road, black metal.  Not terrible but also nothing very remarkable either.  Perhaps they see something in Genocide that I do not and hopefully it will develop into its full potential somewhere in the near future.