A friend of mine describes albums like Apnoe by using the acronym “NVM,” which stands for “Not Very Metal.” At one time, Germany’s Todtgelichter was a standard Black Metal band. Their music was pretty basic, mostly referencing old Bathory, Darkthrone and Burzum for the majority of their songs. I had their first album, 2005’s Was Bleibt…, but I found it to be generic and unadventurous. I’d pretty much written them off after that, skipping their next two LPs altogether. Apnoe sounds nothing like they used to. Compared to their old material, this LP is far more original and different. That being said, the change wasn’t for the better. A lot of the songs on Apnoe are so passive that they make Barry Manilow sound like Extreme Noise Terror in comparison. It’s like they decided that playing Black Metal was too mainstream, so they included a lot of limp-wristed lounge music to sound different. And it does make them sound different, but calling this Black Metal is insulting to Black Metal. Even calling this Post-Black Metal doesn’t really describe how un-Metal the bulk of the music is. I’ve honestly no idea which segment of the Metal market -or any other music market- that this album is aimed at. I don’t know which genre’s fans would like this, other than those oddball hipster people that listen to strange shit just because it’s outside the mainstream. As general music, this doesn’t suck, but it’s so far away from what I want to listen to when buying a record that, knowing what’s on here, I wouldn’t even think of picking it up. This album does literally nothing for me other than make me pissed off that I wasted so much time listening to it. I know a few people will want to check this out because morbid curiosity is a powerful force, but I’d advise against it. You were warned.
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