Apatheia – Lifethesis

The first release on the Italian Stridulum label is the official debut album of the Swedish act Apatheia, after an mp3.com album and a self-released mini cd. “Lifethesis”, which comes in a dvd-case, contains 13 pleasant folky tunes. All of them are written and performed by L. Andersson. Although acoustic guitars form an important element of most songs, they certainly don’t sound like neo-folk cliches. Most songs are melancholic tranquil ballads, though the pace of the melodies is rather fast at times. But most instruments used are rather ‘soft’: apart from the guitars, you hear flutes, strings and some trumpets. The percussion isn’t very dominant, and certainly not militant. The grave male voice is pleasing to hear, somewhere between reciting and actual singing. There are a few occasional female backing vocals. No lyrics are included unfortunately.

The songs on this debut are catchy and fresh. There’s also plenty of variety present. Although I’m reminded of other acts in the folk scene now and then, Apatheia shows enough original ideas to justify its existence. Some of the atmospheric highlights are ‘Our time’ and ‘And I fear death no more’. But my ultimate favourites are ‘Ascendancy’ and ‘Mr. Brown looks awfully pale today’, great songs with nice triumphant trumpets. If you like folky songs that are as catchy (though less poppy) as Ostara or as atmospheric as Of the Wand and the Moon, you won’t be disappointed by ‘Lifethesis’.

A recommended album by Apatheia, of which only 100 copies are available, though a second pressing is not unlikely. Furthermore new material has been announced to appear on the Belgian Neuropa label.

artist: Apatheia
label: Stridulum Recordings
details: 13 tracks, 50 min. 100 nr. copies in dvd-case. [str-001]