There would be no other way to describe Apolutrosis than a transitional period which yielded an experimental concept album.
In the summer of 2002, just as the band Crutch was starting to make a name for themselves outside of their hometown region, Travis Turner stepped down as drummer to focus on his family life. Later that summer, Keith Isenberg also chose to step down as bass player.
Crutch had been planning to do short 4 track EP of some more progressive music, possibly a concept EP. However, writing/recording/live shows were put on hold as Alex, Donny, and Joel sought to find replacements for long-time friends Travis and Keith. The search was not easy, and finding new musicians did not happen very quickly. In the down time, Alex worked on writing 4 movements of a progressive concept EP, and Joel began developing the content and artwork to illustrate the concept.
The interest that the band had gained based on live shows and reviews of the ...hope prevails album had led to some interest in a new album from people in the music industry. The idea of an EP was not well received, so the 4-part concept album was reworked and expanded into a 9 track full-length. Unfortunately, the experimental and progressive nature of the material was not compatible with the interested parties, and Crutch was left to develop the project on their own.
Alex had been working on launching a recording studio with his Synoptic Rise band mate, Hans. Insomnia Studios' humble beginning was in a basement in Newtown Square, PA. A very DIY operation in a basement prone to flooding. The Apolutrosis recordings were written and recorded almost entirely by Alex, playing almost all the guitars, keys, and bass parts himself. Travis Turner did the drum recordings in a few takes with very little rehearsal. Joel tracked vocals and Donny did some tracking and solo recordings in a variety of locations. The entire project was very low-budget, and full of obstacles and difficulties. Joel wrote lyrics to embody the concept of the music, and also developed a 4-part stained glass mosaic to further illustrate the concept of the project. The glasswork was later photographed for the album art.
A rushed and very low budget project, but the end result was an interesting, creative, progressive musical composition. Not a reflection of the direction of the band, but rather an experiment in texture and movement, during a transitional time. The Apolutrosis album was not written to be high intensity live music, but rather a progressive musical journey. Several of the Apolutrosis tracks were modified into high intensity live songs, Exaleiphein Mov II ultimately becoming the grand finale of the bulk of Aletheian shows over the years.
Eventually, in the early spring of 2003, Crutch had lined-up some festival shows, as well as a cross-country tour for the summer; and a working line-up of musicians was becoming a necessity. Based on the advice of Travis Turner himself, Crutch asked Joe Walmer of the band Blind Influence if he would be willing to come on-board and join the band. Still in need of a bassist, Travis Wagner (also of Blind Influence) was invited to play bass with Crutch. This new line-up debuted at the MACRock Festival 2003 at James Madison University in VA.
A new line-up of musicians as well as a new recording in the works, led to the opportunity to make a name change for the band. Crutch did not embody the progressive nature of the music, and was often confused with other bands with similar names. After much debate over the weekend at the MACRock festival in April 2003, Crutch was officially phased-out in favor of Aletheian. Friend of the band (and another member of Blind Influence), Mike Dinunzio of Dinunzio Design, designed a new logo to help launch the re-branding effort.
Unfortunately for the new band members, as well as all the previous fans, and new fans to come... the Apolutrosis album did not represent the new band, new members, or the high intensity live show. The Apolutrosis album would have been more aptly fitted to be the final Crutch project; ending an era, rather than beginning a new one. But the choice of the word Aletheian was heavily influenced by the research and use of greek terminology on the Apolutrosis project. Ultimately, the name Aletheian appeared on the cover of Apolutrosis for the summer of 2003 release. Another low budget DIY limited release, cds burned on a laptop in the back seat of the van while on tour. An official release of the album with full artwork was not available until 2004, when Aletheian and Hope Prevails Productions simultaneously released Apolutrosis and the ...hope prevails re-release.
The summer of 2003 tour, as well as every tour until the release of Dying Vine in 2005, resulted in selling the Apolutrosis album that didn't adequately reflect the live sound of the band. In retrospect, this may have been a misstep for the band, confusing or even disappointing new fans. But the Apolutrosis album has garnered a cult following of diehard fans, as well as a variety of exceptional reviews. Definitely not an album for everyone, not even all Aletheian fans, but hopefully this historical expose sheds some light on shaping of Apolutrosis.