Welicoruss – Apeiron
In my review of Welicoruss’ Wintermoon Symphony, I mentioned one primary drawback: that however good the music may have seemed at any given point, it struggled to remain memorable over the course of the record. Welicoruss was doing a good job of any number of things, skillfully mixing all sorts of metal with enough folkiness to make it danceable and enough bombast to make it huge; however, the album ultimately left little of a lasting impression.
Fortunately their subsequent release, an EP entitled Apeiron, sees the band begin to mend this flaw. Though the music remains much the same – a tasteful mishmash of metal styles permeated with both symphonic and folk elements – the songwriting is a bit more concise and memorable this time around. Everything else falls into place rather well; from the wildly varied opener “Apeiron” (reminiscent at different times of such disparate bands as Wildpath and Drudkh) to the instrumental closer “Flower of the Universe” (or on my copy a metal cover of Sergueï Prokofiev’s “Dance of the Knights”), the listener is presented with track after track of well-executed metal. Vocally and instrumentally, Apeiron reaches at least the standard set by Wintermoon Symphony, and certainly surpasses it in terms of production. Though Wintermoon Symphony‘s production was clear, it lacked a bit of the power that can be attained by a symponic metal band with truly excellent production, the power that they managed to attain with Apeiron. While the difference may not be immediately noticeable, it becomes apparent during the orchestral parts; whereas Wintermoon Symphony was epic, Apeiron can be downright vast.
Given it nature as an EP, though, Apeiron functions a bit differently from its predecessor. It gives the band a bit of room to try new things, such as including two very different versions of “Glory to Russia” and a somewhat ill-concieved electronic remix of “Slavic Power, both songs originally released on Wintermoon Symphony. However, this also means that Apeiron is comparitively lacking in scope; it feels like a variety of samples rather than one finished work.
Ultimately, Apeiron should be seen as a herald of things to come. While it shows Welicoruss making improvements in the areas in which they were lacking, it doesn’t function in the same way as a full-length album would. However, it is a hopeful sign; if Welicoruss continues in this direction, we can expect their next album to be great.
Tom’s Rating: 3.75 out of 5