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Dark Millennium - The Apocryphal Wisdom CD (album) cover


Dark Millennium


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.05 | 2 ratings

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3 stars "The Apocryphal Wisdom" is the debut demo release by German death metal act Dark Millennium. The demo was independently released on cassette tape in February 1991. Dark Millennium was formed in 1989 and disbanded in the mid-90s after releasing two demos and two full-length studio albums.

The music on the 5 track, 27:51 minutes long demo is death metal with both relatively technical death/thrash riffing and drumming, and the occasional more doom/death oriented section. The material are quite adventurous and dare I say semi- progressive at times. Structurally these guys aren't afraid to experiment and while some shifts between sections are slightly awkward, it predominantly works pretty well. The 12:07 minutes long closing title track is the most doomy track here, but it goes through several changes, tempi, and sections during it's playing time. The other tracks which are more regular length songs, are quite adventurous too and the creative songwriting should definitely be mentioned among the assets of this release.

Another asset is the high level musicianship. Dark Millennium sound a bit more seasoned than they probably were at this point. Especially drummer Christoph Hesse has a very creative drumming style, that's kind of subtle for such extreme music. Jazzy would be a wrong description, but there is something about his style that points in that direction. The extremely aggressive and quite distinct sounding snarling intelligible growling vocals by Christian Mertens deserve a mention too. The music is actually quite aggressive in nature and generally not as melancholic and doomy as their studio albums are.

Considering the fact that "The Apocryphal Wisdom" is a demo, the sound production is very well sounding and not far from (contemporary) professional studio quality. It's not often you'll hear death metal demos from this era, with a sound quality like this. It's still suitably raw and authentic old school sounding though. After listening to the demo it's a bit of a mystery to me, that Dark Millennium had to release another demo before getting signed, because the high quality here should have warranted a great deal of attention from labels back then. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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