The moniker of post- or atmospheric metal has been thrown too much around these last years and has lost a lot of its meaning as a means to describe a wide array of the metal genre with similar leanings. So when I first put on ‘Dull Parade’ by French trio Appollonia, I wasn’t sure what to expect. They have toured with bands like Rosetta and one of my all time French favourites, Overmars. So I figured it would be something down that alley of dirty, sludgy doom metal.
But instead of the dark and gritty atmosphere represented in those types of bands, Appollonia is more catchy and, dare I say it, uplifting. And I don’t want to say that they sound like any other band. But just to give you a picture of their sound; they have the kind of heaviness you find in bands like Torche or Cave In, and at times even more in the direction of Mastodon. Combine this with the sense of melody found in bands like Deftones, and there´s also a few respectful nods to early to mid-90s bands like Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins. Still, it doesn’t feel like a justified description.
First song ‘On a Bed of Sulfur’, followed by the single ‘Strange Blooms’, are the perfect two songs to start this record. First they hit you in the gut, and then kiss you on the cheek. There’s plenty of good tunes here though, and I also need to mention ‘Ammunitions Please’ and ‘Elizaberri’ as standouts in my opinion.
The mix is tight, the sound is big and they the right balance between the heavy and melodic that they should appeal to large crowds. To put it this way, I myself am more into the smaller, more experimental genres, but I still can hear the potential of this band hitting it big. And there’s no reason they shouldn’t.
I have to say that the first half of the record has the strongest, most memorable songs, but overall its a solid production. The band is super tight and the songs are well played and arranged. And I must say I appreciate the hardcore-ish background yelling.