Reviewed By Justin Donnelly
Published 15 August, 2010
Spain joined the global metal scene in true thrashing style
For the outside looking in, Spain isn’t exactly what you would call a huge metal market. Sure, the country boasts plenty of metal fans, and has even produced some popular acts within their own relatively small scene, but in terms of exporting metal on a global scale, Spain’s metal credentials aren’t quite on the scale of those found within Europe and the U.S.
But that way of thinking is set to be challenged with Albacete based act Angelus Apatrida, and the release of their Century Media Records debut Clockwork.
Having formed around ten years ago, Angelus Apatrida have risen from local heroes and quickly become one of Spain’s biggest metal acts on the strength of their live performances and their demos and two full-length studio releases (2006’s Evil Unleashed and 2007’s Give ‘Em War), which inevitably caught the attention of Century Media Records, who duly signed up the group in late 2009.
Now with the potential to present their music on a global scale, Angelus Apatrida (who comprise lead vocalist/guitarist Guillermo Izquierdo ‘Polako’, guitarist/backing vocalist David G. Alvarez, bassist Jose Izquierdo and drummer/backing vocalist Víctor Valera) have returned with their third full-length effort Clockwork.
Perhaps it might have something to do with the fact that most of the so-called modern thrash metal outfits come predominantly from the close confines Europe, or the fact that a large majority of them sound very similar to each other, but either way, Angelus Apatrida is by far one of the best modern thrash outfits I’ve heard in some time.
Sounding like a mix of Megadeth (especially in the vocal department), Exodus, Testament and Destruction, Clockwork is an album steeped in old school tradition, but delivered with the energy of a band who still have the energy and the chops to make it sound fresh over the countless clones that have emerged from the underground in recent years.
That’s not to say that Angelus Apatrida sound remotely original, or put a new spin on their particular brand of thrash. No, every song has its clear influence, and they’re really quite easy to point out. But in terms of injecting energy and sounding more akin to the real deal than most (most notably within tracks such as Blast Off, the title track Clockwork, Devil Take the Hindmost, Get Out of My Way and One Side War), Angelus Apatrida definitely stand tall above most within the scene.
Apart from catchy riffs, strong melodies and lyrics that actually steer away from the typical cliché themes of many, Angelus Apatrida manage to incorporate a lot of diversity within Clockwork as well, with tracks such as Of Men and Tyrants, My Insanity and National Disgrace providing plenty of tempo changes and textures, rather than simply coasting on the one speed throughout the entire album.
Clockwork isn’t a classic thrash album, but when you compare Angelus Apatrida’s latest effort to some other thrash offerings from recent times, it’s clear that it’s a thoroughly enjoyable album, and one that doesn’t tire after a couple of spins.
(Century Media Records/E.M.I. Music Australia)