Hutch checks out the debut EP by UK thrashers Apollolyptic..
The UK thrash scene continues to throw band after band at those of us in the reviewer’s chair. The standard of thrash metal is high, so much so that every release has to offer something different to stand out from the crowd.
Sometimes that just isn’t the case, but that doesn’t make the music any less enjoyable to listen to, it just throws it into the mix with many other bands. Such is the situation with Yorkshire quartet Apollolyptic, whose debut EP Through Mud is due to drop at the end of the month.
It’s not a challenge to listen to Apollolyptic, although I’ll pin my colours to the mast early and say I’m not a huge fan of the vocal performance on the three songs. They do little to enhance the tracks and at times are a little strained. Vocals in thrash can be a difficult one, for we don’t need Bruce Dickinson’s high pitch, but snarling aggression needs to be channelled with some guts. Whilst the effort is here, the quality is variable.
The title track brings things up front and in your face. And in parts, it’s a bit of a beast, yet other sections are a bit mundane. The explosive mid-part with some killer lead work is the best part of the song by a mile.
Liar is next, and again the opening riff is standard fare, drawing deep on the Bay Area for influences. This is where the vocals really grate, shouted rather than sung, they are flat and uninspiring. The song isn’t great either, being played at a reasonable pace but it’s not anything to over-excite. There’s genuinely little to stand it apart from hundreds of other average thrash songs, with a lumbering mid-section which is, well, bluntly, just a bit dull.
Final track Gunslinger begins with a ball of riffs and a bass line that threatens to go off piste. The chugging rhythm soon kicks in and we are presented with a routine but perfectly reasonable track with a chorus that hooks. It’s solidly performed without being anything exceptional although I do like the attempts to mix it up a bit mid-song with changes of tempo. It’s all a bit thrash by numbers though, and this is the challenge – show me something a bit different. Some neat shredding is the main highlight.
Now, I’m no musician so I tip my cap to anyone who can make music. You are better than me in that regard. I’m also reluctant to criticise anyone who can take the time and effort to make any recording. My main issue with this EP, like so many in the thrash movement (and you can apply that to most genres), is that it’s just like so many others. And when you are faced with a tsunami of similar fare, only the most original and fresh will stand out. Through Mud is a valiant first effort, with some solid elements, and hopefully gives the band a platform to build on.
Through Mud was released on the 31st October and available on Streaming Services and BANDCAMP