Apostasy Cell 666

Apostasy is Black Mark Records’ new stab at a Swedish take on symphonic black metal. Cell 666 has a grand sound, layering guitars over a bedrock of piano and orchestral synth, interweaving leads and multiple growling techniques (and the odd sample). What Apostasy present is a rawer interpretation of Dimmu Borgir or Agathodaimon, without the clean singing but still heavy on melody. Musicianship is high, and there’s a charm in the band’s roughness, which is more about production and polish than ability. Cell 666 is a little off kilter at times, a little rough around the edges, but a potent debut nonetheless. (Black Mark)