Review: Apocrophex – Suspended from the Cosmic Altar
Unrelenting is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Suspended from the Cosmic Altar. From album opener “The Grey” all the way to the closing track “Exposed Organics,” Aprocrophex relentlessly pummel the listener with their furious brand of death metal.
Apocrophex play a style of technical death metal unlike anything I’ve heard. It’s not that it hasn’t been done before, but the way the band does it just seems unique. Let me start off by saying I really love the vocals in this band. They are the sort of vocals you would expect from a brutal death metal band, but they’ve been repurposed here. The low tone of the vocals is definitely reminiscent of BDM, but at the same time it doesn’t go full on guttural and instead leans more towards the standard DM side while still keeping that really low tone. At times there are semi clean vocals that almost sound as if they are shouted in some sort of agony and do a good job of injecting emotion. It’s a very unique and yet somehow familiar sound, and it works flawlessly within the sound Apocrophex system.
Instrumentally, Apocrophex are nothing short of spectacular. The drumming is absolutely crushing and is accented wonderfully by the precisely executed riffing present on the entirety of the album. At any given moment on the album, you can be guaranteed there is some sort of riffage going on. While said riffs aren’t always super crazy or complicated, make no mistake, they are damn good. The production on this album is perfect. Everything sounds how it should, and you can tell that there was a lot of time and care put into ensuring the album sounds the way it does. I noticed that at certain times it almost seems borderline dissonant without going into full skronk territory. They never quite fully make that plunge, though, because that’s not who they are. Anything is possible in the future, but for right now Apocrophex have a style all their own and it’s something they should be proud of.
Apocrophex have crafted an album that is easily one of my early favorites of 2015 and a shining example of how to do technical death metal right. I have listened to this album a somewhat unhealthy amount of times since receiving the promo, and it only gets better with each repeated listen. There are no silly 1-minute filler tracks here, just pure, punishing, technical death metal. Every song is well-crafted and filled to the brim with ferocious brutality. Suspended From the Cosmic Altar will dazzle you and at times leave you in awe while simultaneously demolishing your face in the best way possible.
Suspended From the Cosmic Altar drops on March 10th. You can pre-order the album at their Bandcamp or BigCartel and of course follow them on Facebook if you dig them. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to this album again.