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Review: Die Apokalyptischen Reiter - All You Need Is Love
Die Apokalyptischen Reiter
All You Need Is Love

Label: Hammerheart Records
Year released: 2000
Duration: 51:00
Tracks: 12
Genre: Unclassifiable

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: March 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Nahsil
Readers Rating
All You Need Is Love

Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (5 Votes)

Die Apokalyptischen Reiter are one of metal's stranger bands, not because they want or try to be (like Unexpect), but because they play a mesh of styles that at first seem incompatible. Things are kicked off with "Licked by the Tongues of Pride", which is basically a Black/Death number - until a minute in when the synths make their presence known and a slower doom vibe is established. There's a lot of that here: seamless (truthfully, you won't always notice) transitions from one style to another, or a combination of more than one style. Death and Black Metal lay the foundation, but you've also got a lot of upfront keyboard and piano playing that would probably not go over well with purists of either genre, despite how tastefully they are utilized. There are hints of traditional metal throughout as well, mainly in the use of intermittent clean vocals and guitar riffs that don't quite fit into the extreme metal spectrum. The band's advertised folk aspect is overstated, considering everything is done sans folk instruments (compositional influences, instead), but it does play a part in rounding out their unique formula. A Hard Rock-oriented sound would manifest itself later in DAR's career, particularly on Samurai, but there's little to none of that here.

The production is great, with breathing room for every instrument and no glaring flaws in volume. It may not please those looking for either minimalism or the absolute extremity of some Death Metal, but in traveling the middle of the road as far as production values go, DAR were able to fully showcase their songwriting talents. All You Need Is Love often conveys feelings of tragedy and perdition, similar to the focus of many Death/Doom metal bands, but without slowing the tempo to a crawl. Speed (or lack of) is used as a tool to get where they're going, not as an end in itself. The same can be said for the album in general; although it has a lot of cool riffs, lead guitar melodies, vocal melodies etc, it's clear that DAR are all about creating a final product, one which attempts to transcend individual instruments. I believe they did that with this release, striking a near perfect chord between the basic ambitions of metal and its more adventurous side, endeavoring to invoke emotions and imagery and all that good stuff.

There's so much I could say about All You Need Is Love, but no word count can do it real justice. If you're at all interested, or if you just want to hear something that hasn't been done before, track this album down.

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