TotalSelfHatred - Apocalypse In Your Heart
21 February 2011

01. Apocalypse
02. At War With Myself
03. A Teardrop Into Eternity
04. Ascension
05. Anything
06. Dripping Melancholy
07. Cold Room Starstained

Bands responsible for releasing a magnificent debut album often fail to capture the glory of that first release on their sophomore effort. Of course, some of history's most notable black metal bands produced mesmerizing one-two punches: Dissection, Satyricon, and more specifically, depressive black metal bands like Make A Change... Kill Yourself and Nyktalgia. The list of bands who crapped the bag after an excellent debut, however, far exceeds the list of those who made the magic happen consecutively.

Totalselfhatred, three years removed from their superb self-titled debut, have managed to re-spawn without suffering from any major imperfections. Apocalypse In Your Heart continues with the band's focus on melancholic atmosphere and agonizing melodies, not so much pushing the envelope but definitely heading in a new direction where production value is concerned. Totalselfhatred was more enchanting in its empyrean delivery, whereas Apocalypse's hostility deflates some of that aerial vibe. That alone doesn't make the album sub-par by any means, but it is a noticeable change and that will most likely discourage those who have waited for a carbon copy of the debut.

The music itself is rather capricious: one moment you're carving "help me" into your forearm and the next you're in imagination land. It may come across as a matter of inconsistency, but one can quickly make out the juxtaposition of life's ups and downs with the ups and downs of this album. The nimble guitar chords and painfully delivered half-choking/half-screams add to the somber mood, and the drums - though not blatant in their presence - bring the entire puzzle together.

Overall, Apocalypse In Your Heart is a strong, emotionally gripping album that saunters the path of melancholy, but never strays too far from the light. In it one can find inspiration or hopelessness, and that - I believe - intentional ambiguity is the album's defining characteristic.

Website: http://www.myspace.com/totalselfhatred

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 29.03.2011 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››


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!J.O.O.E.! - 29.03.2011 at 11:41  
One thing's for sure, they really let themselves down on that artwork. The s/t is one of the best I've ever seen. This one is Totalforgettable, ahem.

Will check this, I liked the debut a lot.
Enemy of Reality - 29.03.2011 at 15:12  
It's a good follow up.
BudDa - 31.03.2011 at 13:24  
Its Troy once again, ladies and gentlemen, championing the black metal cause...
I will admit the first time I listened to this..i didn't find it interesting at all. But checking it out today. I kinda like it. Nice review
Troy Killjoy - 31.03.2011 at 16:08  
Thanks Budda!
stepsintheblack - 07.04.2011 at 15:52  
Nothing wrong with this album guitar tones are revolutionary for this style of music, bringing something new to the world, more indepth soundscapes exploring their ideas further a must own in my opinion

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