Monthly Overview – the Best of May 2018

So, every month I say something along the lines of “this month has been a strong month for metal, blah, blah, blah…”, but May really has been a ridiculously strong month for metal! I really have struggled to keep this list down to manageable levels this time, and removed a few potential entries simply to keep the numbers down, (I’m not happy about this). So anyway, in no particular order, I give you my top picks for May 2018… Continue reading

Apocrophex – Æternalis (Review)

ApocrophexApocrophex are a US death metal band and this is their second album.

Now here’s a band I really like. Their debut EP Wheels Within Wheels showed great promise, which they then followed up with a year or so later with the stunning Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar. Continue reading

Apocrophex – Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar (Review)

ApocrophexThis is the début Technical Death Metal album from US band Apocrophex.

Building on their short but very promising EP Wheels Within Wheels, Apocrophex are now back with a full album, one that I’ve been quite looking forward to.

Opening straight up with some dense widdling and technical mayhem, Apocrophex make a grand entrance. I love the fact that their sound is equal parts heavy brutality and technical mayhem.

But what’s this? There’s an increased depth and maturity of songwriting here that was absent on their first release. It lends these songs an air of gravitas as they are an impressively realised collection of Technical Death Metal tracks.

Importanly, the technicality never takes over from the songs themselves and there are some quality emotive passages and high energy riffs here amidst the chaos.

Some Technical bands concentrate too much on what the lead guitar is doing, leaving the rhythm essentially providing just filler material. Apocrophex do things differently though; they put just as much effort into the rhythm guitars as they do the complicated and flash leads/solos. The result is songs that marry the best of both worlds and Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar is a real gem of an album because of this.

The vocals are as equally impressive as the music. The deep growls have come a long way since the EP and are hugely satisfying. High screams accentuate the aggression and there are even some semi-clean shouts that rise up out of the carnage on occasion to really add emphasis where it’s needed.

I think I’ve just found my new favourite Technical Death Metal band.

Essential listening for all Extreme Metal fans.

Apocrophex – Wheels Within Wheels (Review)

ApocrophexApocrophex are from the US and this is their début EP. They play Technical Death Metal.

This is only a short release; 2 songs in just under 5 minutes.

With such short tracks it’s a brutal and dense affair straight from the start.

The band make a good impression with their deep vocals and rhythmically pummelling brand of Death Metal, all backed up with some fretboard wizardry and blastbeats.

The second song Halos of Light surprises by having some interesting melodic riffing and some semi-cleans in amongst the blasting and brutality. It’s unexpected and shows that Apocrophex are willing to experiment with areas not typically of the Death Metal template. This is to be encouraged, of course.

For a first release the production is functional but could do with giving the band a bit more room to breathe next time. Only a small thing but something they could benefit from.

Other than that this is an all-to-brief hint at what this band is capable of. My interest is peaked. Bring on the full length.