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Experimental/Post Metal • Switzerland

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Apokatastasia biography
APOKATASTASIA is a Swiss progressive metal band formed in 1998 by Milan Hofstetter (guitars),Lolo (drums) and David Reitz (cello),and they were initially called RADICAL MOON.They started writing instrumental songs in a progressive rock/art rock style and in 1999 they were joined by bassist Matthias "Kürsti "Kürsteiner and changed their name to SCHIZOPHRIEND.

After some rehearsal SCHIZOPHRIEND started playing some gig locally and the postive response they received saw them decide to take their music into a more metallic direction.Dario Hofstetter (drums),joined the band in 2000 and after playing live for a year the band changed their name for the final time to APOKATASTASIA.

The bands music was not only starting to become more metal oriented,but also more technical and varied,yet they still remained mostly
instrumental.APOKATASTASIA went into the studio and recorded a four song demo,which they called "Waiting Four" and was released in 2003.

The line-up also shifted a bit in 2003 as Matthias "Kürsti "Kürsteiner switched to guitar and new bassist Markus Bach joined the band.With their line-up finalized APOKATASTASIA went into the studio and recorded their first full length album "Shedding",which was released in 2005.

APOKATASTASIA play experimental (eclectic) progressive metal with jazz elements and besides the standard instumentation their music features liberal doses of cello,violin and percussion.Highly recommended to progressive metal fans.

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Approved by the Progressive Metal Team of Special Collaborators.

Shedding, studio album (2005)

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4.07 | 8 ratings

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4.00 | 3 ratings
Waiting Four


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 Shedding by APOKATASTASIA album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.07 | 8 ratings

Apokatastasia Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars APOKATASTASIA formed in 1998 in the city of Zug, Switzerland which sits due south of the city of Zurich in the northern region of the country. This unique band caught the attention of the prog world back in the early 2000s with its debut demo "Waiting Four" which showcased a unique blend of "Red" era King Crimson guitar riffing only with a much heavier metal attitude with classical and jazz underpinnings of harmonic development and complexities. The main feature of this band's sound though was by far the instantly ear-catching violin and cello contributions which also brought the prog historian back to the early years of prog which reminded a lot of High Tide's classic "Sea Shanties" however APOKATASTASIA eschewed any vocal aspects and crafted a wild 30 minute ride of instrumental prog prowess.

While technically "Waiting Four" was a mere demo, the quality of the music and the excellent production guaranteed that anyone interested in this band would consider it a bonafide release since the four tracks never appeared anywhere else. Two years later the band which consisted of Mark Hofstetter (guitar), Matthias Kürsteiner (guitar), Dario Hofstetter (drums) and David Reitz (violin, cello) and later joined by Markus Bach (bass, 2003-present) released its first and so far only album SHEDDING which seems to be the last we'll ever hear from this band since fifteen years have elapsed since this album's release. The band started out under the name Radical Moon in the 90s and then took a more metal turns as Schizophriend before adopting the more cryptic moniker APOKATASTASIA which seems to be derived from "apocatastasis" which means the belief that all souls ultimately achieve salvation and are received into heaven.

Continuing in the vein of the debut demo release, APOKATASTASIA expands upon the sounds laid down and crafted a more expansive left field into the world of prog rock with an overall less metallic bombast. SHEDDING reminds me most of early Anekdoten with lush symphonic backdrops that include softer guitar passages alternated with heavy rock energy for contrast but for the most part SHEDDING seems to revolve around the melancholic violin and cello performances that keep this album in a state of depressive classical music mode where parts are inspired by Anton Dvorak's cello concertos. While predominantly an instrumental album in the footsteps of "Waiting Four," SHEDDING offers a view vocal utterances which mostly serve as wordless melodies that act as an extra instrument rather than convey any lyrical significance. The exception to this is the bonus track "Empty Flower Vox Edit" which adds growly vocals to the instrumental track first released on the demo.

SHEDDING is one of those intricately designed strolls into prog paradise with hefty compositions that take labyrinthine turns through countless movements that nurture melodic processions which finds dominant violins driving guitars, bass and drums into the progosphere and back. The music is as dark and forbidding as the album cover art implies and while including just enough metal moments to squeak by is really an overall mid tempo KC-Red style rock parade that excels in complex time signature workouts and abrupt changes from pacifying violin rock to metal bombast at the drop of a hat. The album features nine tracks and the first eight tracks from the sound sample "Intro" to the cello-fueled "Nothing" mostly simmer on a mode that emphasizes atmospheric string-driven rock over metal bombast but the final closer "Empty Flower Vox Edit" unleashes the full metal fury with complex prog bombast and metal distortion that reminds me most of Opeth's earliest offerings. This is a really interesting album that will please those who love that magic grey area where heavier prog rock meets the metal universe. These are advanced level compositions here and only for those who like melodically driven angularity if ya know what i mean!

 Waiting Four by APOKATASTASIA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
4.00 | 3 ratings

Waiting Four
Apokatastasia Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars It's been five decades since progressive rock hit the scene and forever changed the limitations of what was considered rock music and while King Crimson may have popularized the style after bands like Pink Floyd and Soft Machine got the ball rolling, the genre didn't waste any time splitting into myriad directions. One of my favorite early contributors was the UK's High Tide which took the progressive rock heft of early bands like KC and added heavier doses of early hard rock but more importantly was the first true band to add the violin as a major component of a heavy rock sound. While formerly classical string instruments such as the violin, cello and viola have become instrumental in many forms of prog ever since, in the metal universe they are still a bit obscure.

Bands like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Poland's Ankh have been a few bands that have mixed the heavier elements of punk and metal with the classical fusion of violin sounds but one more that i've only become familiar with recently is APOKATASTASIA which originated in Zug, Switzerland in 1998 founded by Mark Hofstetter (guitar), Matthias Kürsteiner (guitar), Dario Hofstetter (drums) and David Reitz (violin, cello) and later joined by Markus Bach (bass, 2003-present). While not prolific this all-instrumental band has released this debut EP titled WAITING FOUR which came out in 2003 and the full-length "Shedding" which followed two years later. While technically starting out as a mere demo, WAITING FOUR has been considered a true release outright as it's half hour playing time and excellent production value constitute a really excellent listening experience that provides four tracks not found anywhere else.

This band really delivers the prog goods with King Crimson inspired atonality and meandering complexity that fuses heavy metal guitar riffs and bombast out of the Opeth playbook along with varying softer passages that mix clean guitar sounds with the violin and cello. While the band's sound comes off initially as a classically infused metal hybrid, it becomes obvious that the world of jazz was a major inspiration in crafting an interesting procession of jazzy prog metal with classical underpinnings. With rich uses of time signature changes, modal complexities and clever mixes of tones and timbres, APOKATASTASIA delivers a nice gloomy mournful mix of feisty prog metal bombast and more lugubrious softer prog rock.

What i love about APOKATASTASIA is that it is the closest thing to High Tide's classic "Sea Shanties" without really sounding anything like that classic prog release. This is all instrumental for one thing and the composiitons are much more dynamic and varied than that band and also can remind a bit of another band of the same era - East of Eden however this is true metal territory here and when this band puts on its metal hat this is some seriously bombastic guitar driven prog metal that forges some intricate instrumental interplay in a completely different league with an excellent production job that brings this into the modern era. An extremely strong debut album that shouldn't be missed simply because this falls under the banner of a demo on most databases. This is vibrant prog rock infused metal with a bite and one that has gotten under my skin rather quickly.

 Shedding by APOKATASTASIA album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.07 | 8 ratings

Apokatastasia Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Shedding' - Apokatastasia (8/10)

Hailing from Switzerland comes this unlikely album from one-time act Apokatastasia. If you're wondering why you've never heard of these guys before, there's good reason. Throughout their decade plus of existence, the band has only ever put out a four song demo, and this one full-length album, released independently of any label support. With a general lack of publicity, this band has remained obscure, and it is quite a shame for the fact that despite not being prolific in their efforts, 'Shedding' is an excellent piece of work. Mixing such far flung sounds as psychedelic rock and classical chamber music onto a technical metal backdrop, Apokatastasia's one legitimate album is a powerhouse from beginning to end.

With the exception of a few ambient howls here and there, a short clean vocal section, and a straightforward bonus track, 'Shedding' is an instrumental affair, instead allowing the band's defining trait- the use of the violin- to lead many of the band's passages. While there are many heavier moments on the album, Apokatastasia opts for a very dynamic approach in the sense that there are about as many mellow moments here as more typical 'metal' sections. Leading the album onwards is 'Schizophriend', a perfect overture for what is to come. From the first few minutes of the album, the listener can already hear the psychedelic-tinged sound of the band's atmosphere, as well as the haunting violin and the starkly contrasted metal riffage abruptly thrown in. 'Schizophriend' also manages to make a perfect climax in the song, following the heaviest section in the song with a moment of quiet respite, then followed in suit by a stunning harmony between the guitars and the violin. An incredible way to introduce the band's style.

Next is 'Sag Lessek,' which is sure to focus a bit more on the metal sound that generally lacked from the first track. Here, the violins are mixed with the heavier metal in a very up- tempo track that is reminiscent of gypsy jazz. Next after that is 'LysergSureDithylamid,' an obvious homage to the psychedelic compound made famous by sixties counterculture. Coincidentally, this mellow and trippy foray into psychedelic chamber music sounds like a page ripped out of the Beatle's 'Yellow Submarine' film soundtrack. Some meandering guitar work floats in the background as the incredible string work of David Reitz. This beautiful, yet unsettling piece of music- along with 'Schizophriend'- are the two grandest highlights on the album, and while the other tracks maintain an intelligent design, none share the same impact.

A brief, trippy yet ultimately unnecessary interlude later is the album's thrashiest and heaviest number, 'Raped Visions'. It is here where the band's technical metal roots come in full force, and it is clear that the band can play metal like the best of them. With the final two tracks, the band reprises the same style developed over the previous tracks, and builds upon them a bit, making for a less shocking yet equally enjoyable second half.

On top of the actual album material, the band kindly includes a bonus track, which is much unlike the rest of the music here for the fact that it has vocals throughout the entire song. Instantly reminding me of a more experimental version of Opeth, the bonus track manages to reprise all of the band's style merges in a relatively short song length, perhaps giving a hint of where the band plans, or planned to go with their sound in the future. As far as this debut is concerned however, it is a shame that Apokatastasia has never released anything after 'Shedding,' for it is a beautifully haunting piece of work. At times, it does feel as if some sections (particularly the heavier parts) could have done better with some vocal work to bridge the gap, but anyone looking for a piece of metal that is avant-garde without sounding too quirky or strange would do well to seek out this obscure gem.

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition.

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