Century Media Records/E.M.I. Music Australia
Two years after the release of their Century Media Records effort ‘Clockwork’, Spanish (Albacete based) outfit Angelus Apatrida are back with their fourth full-length effort ‘The Call’. Although ‘Clockwork’ was far from a thrash metal classic, it was a thoroughly enjoyable album that had many sitting up and taking notice. So it comes as no surprise to find there are a lot of people out there (Including myself I might add) expecting big things from ‘The Call’. And sure enough, Angelus Apatrida have well and truly met the challenge they set for themselves, with ‘The Call’ easily the strongest release the modern/retro-thrasher have released to date.
After a short build up, Angelus Apatrida (Who comprise of lead vocalist/guitarist Guillermo Izquierdo ‘Polako’, guitarist/backing vocalist David G. Álvarez, bassist José J. Izquierdo and drummer/backing vocalist Víctor Valera) quickly settle into the groove of the opening track ‘You Are Next’, before launching into full speed attack mode with the introduction of Izquierdo’s raspy/screamed vocals. Musically, Angelus Apatrida haven’t strayed too far from where they last left listeners, with the song drawing upon influences from Exodus and Megadeth. But it’s the chorus structures, the intricate lead work/trading dual guitars and the overall production (Which was once again handled by Daniel Cardoso) where the band have really sharpened things, and the results are stellar.
The follow on track ‘At The Gates Of Hell’ sees the band slowing things down a bit to make way for a little more melody within a strong grooving riff pattern, while tracks such as ‘Violent Dawn’, the Megadeth sounding ‘Killer Instinct’ (Which recently made an appearance on the band’s split E.P. release with 3 Inches Of Blood) and ‘The Hope Is Gone’ are tracks where the band aim right for the throat in terms of venomous aggression and manic speed.
Although the faster thrash efforts are worthy enough tracks, it’s the slower and more melodic efforts that stand out as the album’s real gems. Prime stand out cuts worthy of singling out include the infectious anthem based ‘It’s Rising!’, the multi-tempo duality of ‘Blood On The Snow’ (Which boasts a fantastic atmospheric instrumental introduction that brings to mind something that U.K. act Evile could have easily come up with), ‘Still Corrupt’ (Which features a very Jeff Waters (Annihilator) like solo – Ala ‘Fun Palace’) and the impressive seven minute power/thrash metal epic ‘Reborn’.
Although still falling a little short of ‘classic’ status, ‘The Call’ is an album that showcases the growth and improvement Angelus Apatrida have made in their song writing, and the kind of album that fans of quality thrash should check out.
For more information on Angelus Apatrida, check out - http://www.angelusapatrida.com/
© Justin Donnelly