Opeth during Apostle In Triumph in 1993:
Mikael Åkerfeldt – Guitar, Vocals, Songwriting
Stefan Guteklint – Bass
Anders Nordin – Drums
Peter Lindgren – Rhythm Guitar
Imagine a time before time as we know it. That’s a lot like imagining what a band was like before they became who they were, imagining what they did before they realized who they were. No band is different in this aspect, not even one band in particular that many know by the name of Opeth. Apostle In Triumph is much different than any of Opeth’s material, even the album they released two years later Orchid, and while not even comparing to future efforts, gives us a unique introspective on what Opeth used to be.
In order to listen to this album without gaining an odd feeling of disappointment, the listener must forget everything they know. They must forget the near picture perfect production, the slick changes between soft and loud, Mikael’s soothing vocals, seeing as they’re nowhere to be found (with Mikael’s vocals being the exception, only being used for ambiance in a part of “Apostle In Triumph”). For a three minute basement demo tape, the music on Apostle in Triumph is oddly drawling, with an interestingly empty atmosphere, containing mostly of distorted psychedelic riffs. Incredibly raw, fuzzy buzzing production providing an extra layer upon the music, giving it a certain ambiance that can only be characterized in the same sense as most Norwegian black metal. The album opens up with “Apostle in Triumph Pt.1” starts off with a screeching, black metal-ish riff, and leads into a imaginably maelstrom of ghastly, spooky progressive metal riffing. Not much of the song resembles anything of Opeth’s future, although there are parts that are notably lighter than the beginning, but Mikael’s vocals lightly in the background add another layer, before quickly leaving the scene for the wandering instruments. “Apostle in Triumph Pt.2” is very similar to this, though more intact with Opeth’s regular material. It’s notably more progressive, transitioning from lighter, drab instrumentation to simple minded, single chorded shredding and back.
Apostle in Triumph shows us some of the beginnings of Opeth, letting us imagine what changes they eventually went through to become the band they are today. While not doing anything particularly excellent, is great nostalgic value for any Opeth fan, but be warned, this does not sound a thing like anything Opeth has done. Recommended if your username starts with “the” and ends with “wizard”.