Deiquisitor – Apotheosis Revew

Deiquisitor: a god who interrogates potential heretics on penalty of torture, or a human who subjects suspect deities to purification by pain? These Danish stalwarts have had plenty of time to clarify the meaning of their name over the course of three full-lengths and innumerable splits and EPs, but it remains an open question on the cusp of album number four. The trio has hovered in the background of a reliably scuzzy death metal scene, falling short of even the modest notoriety achieved by fellow Danes like UndergangPhrenelith, and HyperdontiaApotheosis consists of nine more loogies of old school death, hawked up at the aptly named Phlegm Studios and spat upon the sidewalk in front of your home with consideration for neither property values nor your delicate constitution. Will this latest lunger propel Deiquisitor to a long-sought breakthrough, or will it harden in the sun and cement their status as a supporting player in Denmark’s diaspora of death?

The three dickheåded Danes of Deiquisitor opt to stay the course on Apotheosis rather than shake things up in search of a new audience.1 That means you get another platter that contrasts Thomas FJ’s scuzzed-out guitar tones with the lively drums of Henrik BC. Bassist Daniel A lurks in the role of silent henchman; his low-end contributions hide deep in the mix and you’d do well to stop trying to find them. You can’t fault this trio for their tenacious dedication to the tenets of old school death; the band’s murky riffs live at the theoretical intersection of titans Incantation and Immolation. You can, however, fault them for their failure to do anything more than paint by a set of long-established numbers. Apotheosis is devoid of hooks, innovation, and dynamics–it would take a dedicated adherent of the atmosphere-über-alles aesthetic to find much worth celebrating on this limp new offering.

So what exactly killed Apotheosis? It was the guitars, in Phlegm Studios, with the production that reduces everything to a monotonous blur. There’s precious little dynamism in the songwriting here, but the man at the controls flattens the few peaks that do exist like he’s driving a road grader. Most of Apotheosis is dedicated to the mid-paced riff, and even those spots where Deiquisitor introduces variety (“THE EYES OF WORMS,” “STRIVING FOR DESTRUCTION”) fail to rise above the murk because the guitars sound just like they do everywhere else. The twin vocals of Thomas FJ and Daniel A can’t shed the air of malaise. They bark out lyrics about occultism and cosmic dread with almost nothing in the way of variety. After a while, it comes to feel like you’re trapped in a never-ending TLDR rant that buries any point it might have under sheer tedious repetition. This is a production job that mostly chases ideological purity at the expense of showcasing the strengths of the band.

Henrik BC’s drumming stands out from the general ennui. He pounds out an energetic and organic performance that always gives the listener some respite. Deiquisitor has an admirable commitment to recording sounds they can reproduce in a live setting. That’s a very good thing when it comes to the drums–I won’t return to Apotheosis once this review is behind me, but if I saw the band on a festival bill, I would probably check them out to see if Henrik BC can recreate his savage and tactile approach in a live setting. The man nearly redeems the album single-handedly, and he deserves a zestier band around him.

It feels icky to drop the hammer on Deiquisitor. This is the kind of long-serving band that deserves to take a creative leap. They’re dedicated to the acts they share a scene with, espousing the virtues of Danish death metal whenever they get the chance. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t always translate to results. Deiquisitor may yet be capable of a breakthrough, but their latest effort recedes quickly into the background. Apotheosis is a gloomy bore, suitable only for old school die-hards.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 256 kb/s mp3
Label: Extremely Rotten Productions
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: January 20th, 2023

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  1. The Three Dickheåded Danes of Deiquisitor are not to be confused with the Three Wise Men who feature as peripheral figures in the Listurnalia rituals of certain obscure cvlts.
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