(Lavadome Productions)

Yesterday would have been the perfect day to hear this. The sky was dark and portentous, great booms of thunder rattling the house, torrential rain lashing the windows and lightning all around. It was the kind of day where a track like The Unreverberate Blackness of the Abyss fits the mood, all gloom and foulness. Today, not so much. The sun is out, and the air smells clean and fresh. Apparatus don’t make music for days like today.

Describing themselves as Death Metal Art, this Denmark band lean heavily towards doom, all long, slow chords dragged along as if through mud. There are shades of Neurosis, Buzzov-en and the like here, and almost an operatic/monastic feel in places – assuming an opera was ever written in a mental asylum populated by monks, which isn’t nearly as unlikely as it sounds.. That’s not to say that Apparatus can’t achieve a fair pace when the mood takes them, but it’s the breaks, the grinding pace, the discordant piano, the filthy rumbling bass, that really sets them apart. Without that they’d be just another death metal band, largely indistinguishable from the rest, but instead this self-titled debut album offers enough variation that it doesn’t become repetitive or dull. Let’s hope for thunderstorms again tomorrow.

Having written for Kerrang! magazine since 1989, I started shooting for them, pretty much by accident, in the early 90’s when all their photographers refused to go on tour with my favourite punk band Poison Idea. With pretensions of being as good as Mark Leialoha and taller than Ross Halfin, I shot everyone from Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer and Slipknot to The Prodigy and was published all around the world (full-ish list in the ‘published in’ section) before stumbling into fetish and pin up photography in 2006 when I married Masuimi Max. I quit Kerrang! in 2008 and now shoot the rock stuff for Metal Hammer and Terrorizer.