Not many bands exist that can successfully alternate between folk and doom.
Many bands experiment by combining their music with folk influences, particularly in the extreme and black metal scene.
However, the Swedish Apocalypse Orchestra, manages to take it a step further with their melodies.
Using the main characteristics of doom, they take us back to medieval times, through folk music.
Combining the “magical” sound created by the hurdy-gurdy, the bagpipes, and the mandola with the darkness and the power of doom.
They mix their “heavy” riffs with “hard” drums, along with a harmonic combination of melodic instruments and vocals.
Vocals which, have a psalm or “choir” style, give an essence of epic metal feeling to their songs.
The band was formed in 2013 by Mikael Lindstrom and Erik Larsson and, thematically, they are focused and inspired by the 11th century.
As they have mentioned, their goal was to create a musical homage to a bygone musical era..
An era that is already 800 years old!
Their lyrics tell about the Crusades, sicknesses, the plague, wars, and suffering…
They talk about the grimness and the darkness of these times.
The End Is Nigh
A year to remember for Apocalypse Orchestra was 2017, when their debut album was released, titled “The End Is Nigh”.
An album that conjoins two eras, the mysterious medieval era, and the gloomy current era.
The sound of traditional European folk instruments, combined with tight drumming and dark guitar riffs.
Their vocals manage to create the ideal atmospheric grimness through the poeticness of the lyrics…
Hence taking us back to the distant past.
An album full of melancholy songs that, with a strange hypnotic character, takes you into difficult situations.
The album title gives the feeling of a coming end.
Then again, as they have previously mentioned, perhaps it is only the end of the world as we know it..
The Apocalypse of a brand new world with more experience and further insight.
Being a debut album, “The End Is Nigh” managed to raise the bar not only for themselves but for other bands as well.
Their live performances
Even if you have not seen them live, every song you hear provokes you to imagine all that era.
They seek to feature the theatrical element of their music, on their live performances as well.
This theatricality gives an even more enchanting feel to their melodies.
A notable moment for them was their performance on Classic Metal Crunch, in February of 2014.
Featuring the Gävle Symphonic Orchestra and a chamber choir, their songs filled the “room” with melodies and feelings from a distant age.
The Apocalypse Orchestra
Although their songs talk about the suffering of the times…
Their melodies create a feeling in complete accordance with their name…
The Apocalypse through darkness.
The band, via R1 Vibes, dedicate to their (continuously growing) fans their song “Here Be Monsters”.
“An epic piece about fear of the unknown, the longing for home and humankind’s neverending curiosity”.
They also send a message concerning the not-so-distant future:
”We’re really looking forward to seeing some of you at Rockharz Festival in Germany this July!
After that we will retreat into our studio and start working on the next album. All the best to you, you plague ridden flaggelants!”Apocalypse Orchestra
So, the waiting has started for a very interesting album to come…
And we are sure it will be even better than the previous one.
Besides, as it has been noted, the expectations bar is already high!