Euan takes a listen to the new album by Spanish Thrash Kings, Angelus Apatrida, here’s what he thinks-
Spanish Thrash legend, Angelus Apatrida are back, with their seventh and self titled new album. This is Angelus Apatrida’s (AA) first record in three years since 2018’s ‘Cabaret de la Guillotine’. I’ve been a big fan of this band since I was a young teenager, but I’ll be honest and say the the last few albums haven’t grabbed me as much as AA’s golden trinity of ‘Give Em War’, ‘Clockwork’ & ‘The Call’. That said I’ve enjoyed every album AA have put out, but will this new self titled record be a return to the classic form, or another less strong but still satisfying affair. Let’s dive in…
The album kicks into gear straight off the bat with ‘Indoctrinate’. This track wastes no time getting to the good stuff. There isn’t even a chance to breath before plunging into the fiery first verse. Ripping riff work, tight and interesting drum play, all staples of AA are in full flush here. However I’ve noticed some more maturity in Guillermo Izquierdo’s vocals. Instead of his usual snarly thrash blustering, he has taken to a deeper and more daunting vocal style, which is something that can be heard across the album. ‘Indoctrinate’ flows very well and doesn’t feel bloated, even at over 5 minutes long. The mid section groove has one of the most stimulating build ups I’ve heard in a while. This track really does something special at the end with an unexpected tempo change.
This creative songwriting proves that AA have no intention of becoming a stale shadow of their previous works. The album pounds into track number 2, ‘Bleed The Crown’, which was also the lead single, released back in early November. This is a perfect choice for a single, it’s Groovy, Thrash, Riffy and VERY catchy. The staccato riff work in the chorus combined with Izquierdo’s commanding vocal attack, could easily direct the listener into revolution ready movement. Track 3, ‘The Age Of Disinformation’ points a glaring finger at societies gullible addiction to social media and clickbait news. AA have always had something strong to say in their lyrics and this album is no different, and returns to their more anti-authority message like we had in ‘Clockwork’. This track also displays some tasty lead melody work from both Izquierdo & David Alvarez. AA have always shined in their lead playing and this record shows no signs of the pair losing their lightening touch.
As we reach the middle of the record, I can’t help but feel a few songs seem to blend into one, especially if you’re listening to this record more passively. ‘Childhood’s End’ is definitely the stand out track in the album’s marrow. Punky riffing in the verses, and a more melodic and cathartic chorus make this track an easy choice for future live shows. As I mentioned before, the midst of the album start to feel a little same-y, however the two tracks ‘Through The Glass’ and especially the albums closer ‘Into The Well’ don’t let the listener finish this thrash quest without one final assault. ‘Through The Glass’ is relentless and enrapturing with some of the most interesting riff work on the record. ‘Into The Well’ starts of with some thunderous percussive picking, and the verses feel like riding through a storm. The track goes into a half time pounding at around the half way mark, with more stunning lead work and crushing grooves.
So, ‘Angelus Apatrida’ certainly isn’t showing any sign of AA losing their edge or their passion for making fantastic Thrash Metal. This album is easily a step up from the previous work, and on par with 2015’s ‘Hidden Evolution’, it starts and ends with a bang however in the middle of the album I found myself getting less interested and struggled to click with some of the tracks. All of the instrumentation is tight and creatively captivating, the production is clear and precise yet meaty and gritty which I love & most important of all, the songs are great and I can’t wait to hear them live one day.
I’d give this album a strong 8/10.
Angelus Apatrida ‘Angelus Apatrida’ I out on Friday the 5th February 2021on Century Media