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Apollo Stands – Interstellar

Apollo Stands
Interstellar
by Ben Gardiner at 22 November 2021, 10:21 PM

APOLLO STANDS pit Metal against sci-fi in their cosmic explosion of Technical Metalcore with otherworldly synths and spacey atmosphere. Soaring highs collide with aggressive beatdown in their grandiose third album Interstellar. Offering excellent instrumentation, engaging atmosphere and a high quality of production, as well as plenty of heavy breakdowns, this is an exciting wild ride from beginning to end.

Opening with the sweeping and epic atmosphere catalyst, “Void,” which combines strings with sci-fi synths and mechanical sounds to introduce to this world of heroic and spacey metal. Ending with a fear instilling metallic breathing, the intro tracks leads us straight to the next track “Insolarus.” Conjuring reminders of TESSERACT with its technical drum heavy instrumentation and production. The band uses an array of sounds to build up this song and the futuristic world they’re creating, operatic singing and spacey synths remove the sound from reality.  After some rocky verses and a grand uplifted section, the song waits till the 1 minute 30 mark to unleash a roaring breakdown, giving us high pitched screamo vocals and a double-time double bass drum beat with a mighty sounding stack. The mixing of the screamed vocals with sung and in this case some spoken is done in a way so that it all feels smooth and cohesive.

The incredibly synthy and heavy “Synthetic” is a shining example of mixing together the synth and a traditional sounding Metal song. The cosmic mass of synth notes that opens up the song meshes with the straightforward Hardcore style instrumentation, the dense synth movement meeting the sparse heavy hitting drums and guitar riffs brilliantly. The lyrics are another highlight of this track, along with the constant synth line and roaring beatdown music, the message of the song perpetuates breaking free of the 9-5 and other restrictive ways we’ve been socialised.

The subtle bass and atmosphere building synth that starts “Hive” is made even more groovy with the introduction of a soft drum beat and the whole song has some heavy TOOL vibes. The synth increases in presence as the drums and bass act like a launch pad for the electronic grooves, culminating in an uplifting, heroic change in tone, one that comes with its own epic wailing guitar solo and an impassioned vocal performance.  I love the piano chords that offer a contrastingly light melody in the midst of highly aggressive drums and guitar at the end of the track, adding to the idea of beauty meeting danger that is Space.

APOLLO STANDS masterfully blend together Sci-Fi and a variety of metal styles in this impressive album. To seamlessly combine Hardcore, Metalcore, Thrash and Tech Death with a spacey and offbeat synth performance that is treated as an equal amongst the mix of guitars and drums, is no small feat, and the atmosphere it creates for this album is exactly what I imagine the band was striving for, encapsulating the crushing dangers of space with its light and delicate beauty.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability:  7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Void
2. Insolarus
3. Synthetic
4. Pick Up
5. Please Wait
6. Hive
7. The Arbiter
Lineup:
Alexei Swatman – Guitar/Vocals/Keys
Ry Hase – Lead Vocals
Olly Smith – Lead Guitar
Matt Hayward – Bass
Edgar Taljaard – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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