I often refer to The Sword as “Stoner metal so good you don’t have to be stoned for it”. Unfortunately, with the release of Apocryphon I may have to revise my opinion and reach for some chemical enhancement, as for the first time their output is merely mortal.
All the ingredients are present, but the mixture doesn’t seem to soar quite like before. Previous records have arrived via frothing steeds, the chariots of thunder gods and sleek starships, but Apocryphon sort of plods along, pedestrian in the literal sense. Single “Veil of Isis” has some swing to it but it’s no “Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians”. Oddly enough for such a riff-based band, some of the more rollicking moments are on “Execrator” and the title track, where the band pull out the synthesizers and party like it’s 2112.
Still miles better than many records of this ilk, Apocryphon nevertheless falls a bit short of the heavy-rotation status of its predecessors. 6.5 out of 10