Album of the Week 18-2012: Angelus Apatrida – The Call

If it wasn’t for bands like Angelus Apatrida, I would be afraid that my beloved genre of Thrash Metal would be dying. The scene is flooding with retro bands too obviously tributizing one influence and the term Thrash Metal is suffering from definitionary inflation. With Metal growing more extreme, bands labelled Thrash in the media are often ordinary old school Death Metal, heavier Melodeath or – even worse – Metalcore. Luckily, there’s still Angelus Apatrida. A Spanish band that just does what I like hearing Metal bands do most: just Thrash intensively in a bunch of extremely well-written songs.

Two years ago, Angelus Apatrida stole my heart out of the blue. I got their album ‘Clockwork’ to review for the now defunct webzine Fury! and was completely blown away. The Spanish quartet isn’t just good, they’re fantastic. This isn’t a Thrash band that thrives on eighties nostalgia, like many contemporaries do. Of course, the influences are there, you can hear these guys like Exodus, Kreator, Annihilator, Megadeth and Slayer, but nowhere do they focus on sounding like one particular band. As a result, the songs are powerful songs with the best elements of thirty years of Thrash history, while sounding surprisingly contemporary, partially due to Daniel Cardoso’s spectacular production.

As a fan of all things guitar, Angelus Apatrida brings an instant smile to my face. Guillermo Izquierdo’s and David G. Álvarez’ riffs are punishing, violent and extremely tight, while their solos are nothing short of mind blowing. I would even go as far to say that these guys are technically more proficient than 99 percent of all Thrash musicians out there. Victor Valera’s drums pound through everything as well. Never slowing down for the worst musical invention since the dance beat: the breakdown.

In addition, Izquierdo’s vocals are awesome. Somewhat of a mixture between Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza, Mille Petrozza and Darren Travis, he sounds powerful and venomous, while never restricting himself to one particular style. There’s some melodic choruses (the awesome ‘The Hope Is Gone’ for instance) and loads of aggressive Thrash stuff (like the downright killer opener ‘You Are Next’), both of which Izquierdo pulls off with ease.

Other highlights include the stomping ‘It’s Rising!’, which leaves the listener with no other choice than to headbang and the epic ‘Blood On The Snow’, but really, the entire album is worth hearing if you like Thrash Metal. In general, I’d say the songs on ‘The Call’ are a tad slower than on ‘Clockwork’, but the difference isn’t that big. This is the same awesome band making another awesome album.

Well, I’m off to Rotterdam to see Angelus Apatrida play live. They’re only playing 40 minutes, as they’re opening for 3 Inches Of Blod, but I need to see these guys live. In the meantime, go and get this album. And get ‘Clockwork’ as well. It’s a relief to see bands like Angelus Apatrida keeping the scene alive. Far from the Bay Area or the “Ruhr Area”, we might just have the new revelation for Thrash. You are next!

Recommended tracks: ‘The Hope Is Gone’, ‘You Are Next’, ‘It’s Rising!’

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