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Apocalypse - Apocalypse / Rewind Award winner

Apocalypse / Rewind
by Craig Rider at 04 September 2017, 10:22 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! I'm proud to present to you APOCALYPSE; signed via Arkeyn Steel Records, hailing from the United States of America - performing Heavy/Progressive Metal, on their compilation of the 1st 2 albums entitled “Apocalypse” / “Rewind”. (released April 24th, 2017).

With the quintet in question very underground; Arkeyn Steel Records have resurrected APOCALYPSE by revisiting their first and only 2 albums in re-mastered clarity, “Apocalypse” (released in 1994) & “Rewind” (released in 1998). Incorporating an interesting formula of Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal; the quartet deliver distinguishable characteristics of 80s hard-hitting attitude, while managing to keep it modernized for the 90s generation. 16 tracks, spanning across 2 CDs - you can discover some old-school Prog arrangements that would eventually rise the sub-genre in popularity in the not too distant future. Disc 1: “Apocalypse” opens up with “Losing The Future…To The Past” in an intricately designed fashion; a synthesized introduction, plentiful riffs full of chugging gallops and crushing drum enticements, and an explosive vocal development - as instrumentation and musicianship excel with proficient sufficiency in mind.

“Visions Of War” showcases Jerry Keyzer's strong vocal performance in which has a striking resemblance to that of Geoff Tate from QUEENSRYCHE. There is a lot of melodic Power Metal harmonies which blends with early Progressive Metal elements and light AOR implementations - finishing off with an incredible high-pitched scream from aforementioned vocalist. “Stronghold” flourishes with more technical, instrumental equalities from guitarist John Luepnitz. You can tell there is a lot of consistent profession as the solos shrive with a complex, dexterous talent. “Unknown Origin” shows more of his heaviness in the melodic lead parts and are a definite highlight of the album. Powerhouse drummer Bob Matheson efficiently provides with a delightfully solid tone that's all round uniquely constructive, this is evident in the song “Bullet Proof Attitude”. Bassist Jeff Welch shines with very audible distinctions, especially in the quieter moments.

The elegant “Serpant's Kiss” offers more diversity of exquisite keyboard synths and strong songwriting adroitness, there is a lot of originality and memorability and it makes me question why APOCALYPSE disbanded. The sound production is also superbly sinister for 90s progression – finishing Disc 1 with the 12:59 “The Denial”, which demonstrates more of that fulfilling conceptual diversifications, I overall was very surprised with this one - it's a divine record that serves a significant amount of unprecedented discoveries, there is a lot of cohesive influences to that of 80s JUDAS PRIEST/IRON MAIDEN (especially vocally, and equally instrumentally) as the band perform in their own unique way. I have 1 more disc to evaluate on - “Rewind”. Their 2nd deliverance that should result in differentiates similarities and more organic substances of unparalleled aesthetics.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Sound Production: 9

Fast forward 5 years and we have APOCALYPSE's next endeavor: “Rewind”; 9 tracks consisting of more rip-roaring, thunderous Heavy Metal solidities and fluid Progressive Metal manifestations. “Burning The Candle” opens up the album and already showcases dynamic attributes that excel with illuminate results, all aforementioned members from the previous record return and advance with magnificent abstractions. “Glimpse” is the next in line and the Prog elements adapt with distinguished solos at a rapid tempo and graceful vocalizations contrast with more high-pitched determination, while all instruments can be heard which is obviously a crucial finesse. “Vacant” slows things down, distributing a tasteful storytelling exert - as the mechanisms develop more flamboyant contraptions. This is the record where the Prog components are well noticeable, albeit sounding amalgamated with Heavy Metal - which gives you an astonishing union.

Shining In The Distance” continues to bestow more flabbergasting ramifications, twisting into a tremendous amount of material that you can only find in Prog - the vocals strengthen with remarkable correspondence as does the solos where found are acoustic segments here and there. “Someone” has an enjoyable flexibility to it, as the collective resolve determine to progress with relentless haste - as well as sounding outstandingly adventurous. The titular track “Rewind” has more of those heavy upbeat tempos that the previous record had, while “Silver Lining” shortens that with more powerful succulence - it's quite welcoming to find something of this magnitude and feel like a breath of fresh air, musically. “Means To An End” matures in stature, while the closing instrumental finale “Trails End” concludes this compilation with creative craftsmanship.

Overall - this double record compilation was a delightful experience; I had a blast enjoying some impressive melodies that had me in awe at the seamlessness APOCALYPSE delivered. Definitely worth a look for all Metal fans alike.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Sound Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Disc 1: Apocalypse
1. Losing The Future…To The Past
2. Visions Of War
3. Stronghold
4. Unknown Origin
5. Bullet Proof Attitude
6. Serpent's Kiss
7. The Denial
Disc 2: Rewind
1. Burning The Candle
2. Glimpse
3. Vacant
4. Shining In The Distance
5. Someone
6. Rewind
7. Silver Lining
8. Means To An End
9. Trails End
Jeff Welch - Bass
Bob Matheson - Drums
John Luepnitz - Guitars
Jerry Keyzer - Vocals
Record Label: Arkeyn Steel Records


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