Exposé Online banner

Raoul Björkenheim — Apocalypso
(Cuneiform Rune 156, 2001, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01

Apocalypso Cover art

The only other release by Raoul Björkenheim I’ve heard is the collaboration he did with Nicky Skopelitis from 1997. I liked that a lot, but with two guitarists, you never know who’s doing what. This time out, it’s all Björkenheim. Credits are pretty sketchy (“Music by Raoul Björkenheim” is all it says), but I think it’s safe to assume all the guitar parts are his. Many guitarists, given free reign, might produce a shred-fest of fast runs doubled by their own bass playing, power chords and flashy solos. Luckily, that’s not what we have here. Björkenheim’s interests lie more to the sonic possibilities of the guitar as sounds rather than traditional notes. He uses slides both on bass and guitar, and often the noises are mangled beyond certain identification of their sources. The drum parts, which may or may not be programmed (they sound pretty real), focus on throbbing toms, slow and moody as on “Sages” or faster and building to an incredible frenzy on the title track. “Circles” features alternating parts: a brutal chugging dissonance and a spaced-out sustain backed by quiet fiddly notes. My favorite is undoubtedly the title track, which features a chorus of chunky rhythm parts and a wild melody voiced in octaves, maybe like Snakefinger on steroids, and an edgy solo with little respect for such niceties as key signatures, like Henry Kaiser in a really bad mood. This track alone is worth the price of admission.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 24, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Raoul Björkenheim

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Originallis – For their latest, Mexican proggers Cast have delivered a super-sized collection of 16 songs spread across two CDs – a Flower Kings-like effort, with similar strengths and weaknesses. For some...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues