I find it somewhat apt that Angelus Apatrida hail from a town in Spain, Albacete, that’s most famous for the manufacture of knives, scissors and daggers. Why? Because like all good thrash metal, the Spanish quartet take great delight in scything the listener in two, thanks to the use of razor sharp riffing and incisive and aggressive song writing.
Angelus Apatrida began like in 2000 and came to the attention of the metal world courtesy of a couple of demos and their debut “Evil Unleashed” released in 2006. In 2008, as the buzz surrounding the band increased, they signed with Century Media Records and released their third album, the critically-acclaimed “Clockwork”. Remaining to a certain extent in the thrash metal underground, Angelus Apatrida have returned in 2012 with “The Call”, determined to force their way into the upper echelons of the scene.
The album kicks off with the furious intent of ‘You Are Next’ after its brooding, ominous opening few seconds, not dissimilar in style to Slayer. Double pedal drumming, rumbling bass and a frantic guitar riff are quickly joined in battle by the higher-pitched snarling of vocalist (and guitarist) Guillermo. Towards the end of the track, the Spaniards allow a little melody to creep in, most notably via a superbly dexterous solo and ensuing riff, before closing the song with the ferocity with which it arrived.
The ensuing double-header of ‘At The Gates Of Hell’ and ‘Violent Dawn’ are dirty, snarling and gnashing little ditties that will get heads banging feverishly for all their worth, whilst ‘It’s Rising’ with its simple, rousing chorus, has a distinctly power metal vibe underneath the overt brutality.
However, for my tastes, the band are at their absolutely sublime best when a touch more melody is introduced into the compositions. ‘Blood On The Snow’ for example, begins with an early Metallica-inspired quiet guitar intro and, following the ubiquitous machine-gun drumming and tight riffing, opens up into a slightly slower, more anthemic chorus. It also underlines the quality of singer Guillermo, who snarls, growls and croons with consummate ease. ‘The Hope Is Gone’ continues on an anthemic, crowd-pleasing theme too.
The bottom line here is that the consistency throughout, coupled with the superb musicianship, means that “The Call” could very well achieve Angelus Apatrida the status that they so obviously crave. It certainly deserves to; marvellous stuff.