Review: Asphodelia – Welcome Apocalypse

artworkWritten by Rainer Kerber

Formed in 2016, Asphodelia hails from the Italian provincial capital of Foggia (Apulia) in southeast Italy. In May of the same year their debut recording Vengeance EP was published. Shortly thereafter a crowdfunding campaign was launched with which the debut album was to be financed. Planned release date was autumn 2016. The financial goal, however, was not achieved, thus the overall production was delayed. Fortunately, the debut full length album, Welcome Apocalypse, has finally been completed and will soon be released to the masses.

Vengeance has already impressed me quite well and made me eager to hear the full length. Alongside of the tracks released on the EP are eight new compositions. First of all, the Italians have given up an intro this time and have just started the title song of the album. Banging riffs, abrasive bass and driving drums lay a solid base that’s finely glossed with the impressive voice of Samuela Fulani. The singer sings in a pleasantly lower voice, which is a nice break from others in the symphonic metal genre. In fact, she only occasionally she ventures into higher areas, which she also sings cleanly. Many sampled effects give the song a slightly apocalyptic basic mood. Also the other songs offer a skilful mixture of Power and Symphonic Metal.

Another hot track is ‘Blackout.’ The song moves between (power) ballad and midtempo anthem. The singing is often accompanied by e-piano and strings. Popping riffs and punchy drums provide metallic heaviness.

‘Heroes’ shines through beautiful melodies and has airplay qualities, but is not friendly to the mainstream. For me, ‘Behind A Smile’ is the best song of the album; partly piano ballad, partly power ballad with lots of metallic hardness. Only the small but fine guitar solo provides greater pace. Sam also shows, in my opinion, her best vocal performance.

Symphonic Metal from Italy? “Please not another a Rhapsody clone!” manby are sure to say, but rest assured, this one is not even close. Asphodelia play much harder than their legendary countrymen and orchestras are subtly used. In my opinion, Asphodelia play a flawless brand of metal that’s more power than symphonic metal; no opera singing, no big orchestra. Just great metal!

With Welcome Apocalypse Asphodelia presents an excellent metal album. Varied songwriting, outstanding musicians and a rich production ensure an enjoyable listening experience with the unique voice of Samuela Fulani serving as the icing on the cake. I am curious about the further development of the quartet. 8/10

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