Although they’ve only been around for about a decade, melo/progressive/death quartet Apotheus has quickly become one of the most promising names in Portuguese metal. Both their debut EP—2011’s A Quest to Remain—and their first full-length outing—2013’s When Hope and Despair Collide—revealed a striving and sophisticated blend of tight musicianship and dynamic tonal shifts that any fan of the style should enjoy. It’s no surprise, then, that their sophomore LP, The Far Star, finds them expanding and perfecting that formula. With its cinematically emotional scope and relentlessly captivating melodies and music, it’s worth taking the trip ASAP, which is precisely what you can do below.
Inspired by writer and professor of biochemistry Isaac Asimov, Apotheus’ first concept album explores “how the collision of two worlds resulted something new: a hope, a mission and a destination.” In more specific terms, the band clarifies: “The Far Star tells the story of a mission of extreme importance for the entire species. It is a quest for survival and a very painful one.” As for how it came together, they add, “We created a concept and iterated on it countless times. We placed ourselves on the feet of these people and recreated the story with sound. It is our most challenging work to date.”
Indeed, The Far Star exposes its grander and more mature trajectory right away via the moody weight of “Prelude.” Mournful piano notes, inspiring percussion, and a grave voiceover dominate its gorgeously apocalyptic atmosphere. From there, “Caves of Steel” presents Ayreon-esque gripping sci-fi fury and accessible hooks before the balance of clean singing and growling sees “Redshift” conjures Amorphis in the best ways. Later, “The Darkest Sun” is chillingly isolating thanks to its initial ethereal sparseness, whereas “Under a New Cloudy Sky” implements more digital tones to enhance the futuristic world-building. As for closer “A New Beginning,” well, it’s a great way to wrap-up the journey while serving as the final culmination of how much Apotheus have evolved over the last few years.
Don’t just take our word for it, though. Check out The Far Star in its entirety below. You can also grab a copy for yourself when it releases this Friday, November 1st, via Black Lion Records.