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Apocrophex - Æternalis Award winner

by Caleb Kerns at 23 May 2018, 10:11 AM

Hailing from New Jersey are the tech death masters APOCROPHEX. The band got their start five years ago and released their debut album "Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar" in 2015. The duo is lead my Justin Buell, who writes and performs all instrumentation, with vocals being provided by Pete Colucci. However, while the last album utilized programmed drums by instrumentalist Buell, the group got Kevin Paradis (SVART CROWN, SUTRAH, VIRULENT DEPRAVITY) to provide drums for this album. The group plays a style of technical death metal similar to NILE, save the heavy middle-eastern influence, but they aren't your run-of-the-mill generic knock off band. Instead they venture into other territories often left untouched by their contemporaries.

Colucci creates guttural growls that sound like they were spawned in the depths of hell, while throwing in occasional clean vocals that show off his versatility as a vocalist. Buell skillfully weaves heavy, bone-crushing riffs in with technically proficient licks. But he doesn't just deliver technical riffs for technicality's sake, he throws in a healthy dose of melodic sections to level out the playing field. Songs like "Thwarting Dogma" are dark and heavy, but aren't afraid to venture into melodic, almost jazz-like section. Moments of "The Oracle Room" take a slight deviation from the fast-paced style often heard on this album and even verges on doom metal at times. Many of the riffs manage to create maniacal beauty through dissonance. The band's final track "Neglected Megalith" is the longest and perhaps most epic track on the album. The song takes it's time building up tension, creating intense anticipation for the listener before blasting into a massive verse and taking you on a journey.

This is without a doubt one of the best albums I've heard so far this year. While many tech-death bands rely heavily on blast beats and constant shredding, APOCROPHEX isn't afraid to stand out from the crowd and deviate from the norm. I can find myself getting bored with these types of bands who perhaps try too hard to impress listeners with sheer virtuosity. Instead, Buell's writing focuses more on the overall composition, making the album a highly intriguing journey that never boring. If you're a fan of technical death metal, then you need to get your hands on this album.

Songwriting: 9
Originiality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Where Temples Are Older Than Trees
2. Implanted Genesis
3. Thwarting Dogma
4. The Oracle Room
5. Sovereign Symbol
6. Pareidolia
7. A Sentient Edifice
8. Neglected Megalith
Justin Buell - Guitars, Bass
Pete Colucci - Vocals
Kevin Paradis - Drums (Session)
Record Label: Manicidic Records


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Edited 26 September 2022

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