Release: April 20, 2018
‘’Boundaries are pure illusion.
There are shades in the light
and glimmers of light in the darkness.
Light and Darkness
Good and Evil
Right and Wrong
They are just constructions of the human mind.
Truth is free from labels and categories.
What lies beyond has no boundaries.
Welcome to the place in the Underworld where boundaries fall apart.
Welcome to the Asphodel Meadows.’’
Asphodelia is a dark symphonic metal act founded in 2016 in Foggia, Italy, by Samuela “Samah” Fuiani (vocals and keyboards) and Ruggero “Lordian” Doronzo (guitar), and currently including Davide Ricciardi (bass), Giuseppe Centonza (drums) and Gianni Colonna (guitar). Their sound blends symphonic and choral sonorities, electronics and Mediterranean echoes into a solid metal frame with a strongly dark mood. Their lyrics are usually centered on the theme of the afterlife, on the life and death dichotomy, the fleetingness of time and the misery of the human condition.
1. Welcome Apocalypse
6. Secret War
7. Behind a Smile
9. Mirror Mirror
10. Like Water
11. The Show
12. Flowers of Evil
13. With or Without You (U2 cover)
‘’Welcome Apocalypse’’ is a nice intro for the album, fades in very well to the music. In this song it is already kind of clear that Asphodelia is not your usual ‘’female fronted metal band’’, Samuela has a very nice and clear voice. ‘’Cassandra’’ takes a while to warm up, I found myself waiting for the so-called breakdown, but that moment was less powerful than I hoped. It’s a shame because it was building up tension very well. ‘’Alive’’ has a bit more electronic influences, you see it a lot nowadays in new metal records, and to be honest I am starting to like that a lot. But, it is a bit overused in this song, there's too much happening at the same time and the vocals seem to be mixed a bit too soft. Now, a song I really like from this album is ‘’Blackout’’, which starts with a very nice piano melody we can hear throughout the whole song. This is one of those songs that will be amazing to hear live!
I like that all titles of the songs actually seem to have something to do with the overall theme which is of course ‘’Welcome Apocalypse’’. ‘’Heroes’’,‘’Secret War’’, ‘’Like Water’’ and ‘’Mirror Mirror’’ are nice songs, but after these first four songs I had rather heard something a bit faster and harder. Up till now every song kind of sounds the same, and I’m hoping there will be a bit more diversity towards the end of this album. ‘’Behind A Smile’’ shows a bit more of that diversity, but it’s not much. It’s starting to sound a bit too cohesive at this moment. I do really like the piano part in this song. In ‘’Dust’’ there are also male growls, I would have loved to know who this is but there is no information about that anywhere. ‘’The Show’’ shows a bit more guitar action with little solos in between, it is a nice touch. I think the song ‘’Flowers of Evil’’ refers back to the band's name, Asphodelia. As said in the biography, an asphodel is a typical Mediterranean flower connected to the ancient Greek Underworld: in the ancient Greek mythology, the Asphodel Meadows is a place where the indifferent souls, who lived a life of neither good or evil, are sent to live after death. If you know me well, you know that I do not like U2. However I do really like how Asphodelia made this song nearly unrecognizable from the original. It has a lot of dark influences and that sounds really awesome.
Like I said earlier, the album ‘’Welcome Apocalypse’’ sounds a bit too cohesive and perfect. I get the same vibe of of every song, and I would have loved to hear a bit more diversity and experiments. It wouldn’t hurt them to colour outside the lines a bit more from time to time. I’d rate ‘’Welcome Apocalypse’’ by Asphodelia a 7 out of 10.
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Samuela Fuiani: vocals, keys
Ruggero Doronzo: guitar
Gianni Colonna: guitar
Davide Ricciardi: bass
Giuseppe Centonza: drums