I think it’s time for a thrash metal release as of 20th October 2023. The “Homeless Angels” – that’s at least the literal translation of Angelus Apatrida – are releasing their eighth studio album already. The title is Aftermath – here are my thoughts about it.
Angelus Apatrida – About The Artists
Angelus Apatrida are from Albacete in Spain. The band was formed in 2000 and originally did power metal. The beginning of the band was a bit of slow, they also struggled with their initial record company. In 2006, they finally released their debut album Evil Unleashed. Starting more as a regional and domestic band, the fan base of Angelus Apatrida grew steadily. Their exceptional status in their home country is illustrated by the fact that their most recent album release, Angelus Apatrida (2021), topped the national album charts. However, the band also made it to the Top 50 in Germany and Spain. The band consists of Guillermo Izquierdo (vocals, guitar), David G. Alvarez (guitar), Jose J. Izquierdo (bass) and Victor Valera (drums). Guillermo Izquierdo and Victor Valera joined the band in 2002, the other two members were part of the founding lineup.
Angelus Apatrida – Aftermath – Track by Track
The ten song album lasts 50 minutes.
With Scavenger, Angelus Apatrida opens the album rather with a light appetizer. Saying that, I don’t mean that they are starting slow and modest. The song is just quite shorter (less than four minutes) than some of the epics which lie ahead of the listeners. The song quality is just what you expect of thrash metal: the Spaniards are thrashing. If you like pop, you likely opted for another listen.
Cold has been one of the single releases before the October album publication date. Guillermo Izquierdo is nicely jumping between screaming and shouting sounds to very melodic and almost harmonic sounds. And the band? They do was metal bands should be doing. Without a doubt, the very melodic and catchy chorus is one of the key highlights of Aftermath.
3. Snob (feat. Jamey Jasta)
Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta is visiting Angelus Apatrida and thus defines a US-Spanish collaboration at Snob. The collaboration of the two vocalists and the hammering rhythm by Victor Valera lead to an amazing speed in this third song. Very entertaining listen.
4. Fire Eyes (feat. Pablo García)
After a lot of speed and hammering riffs and drums, the majestic, hymnic first 50 second of Fire Eyes give a short moment of relaxing. However, the Spanish band wouldn’t have invited their fellow countryman and WarCry’s guitarist, Pablo Garcia, for some simple tunes. Even though the the song is overall a bit more on the sedated side of metal, it especially leaves some space to focus on the instrumentalist with a great solo.
Rats is one of these tracks which set a clear direction from the very direction. Before you even realized that the fifth song has begun, Valera is already hammering the drums and cymbals at full speed. And once this guy is in beast mode, his colleagues cannot stop him and simply join in. Animal from The Muppet Show would definitely pay tribute to this kind of rhythm – and we love the nice balance of full speed parts and melodic break-outs.
6. To Whom It May Concern
The second single release of the album so far takes almost nine minutes to tell you its full story. This also means that there is a lot of time to slowly introduce you to To Whom It May Concern and then more and more go for faster and more dirty metal sounds. The song nicely combines a metal and rock epic with ballad elements – there are rather long sections in which the band is showing that they also have gentle and emotional qualities. You should block the full duration of the song in you diaries, indeed.
Stomping ryhthm, screaming guitars, dark sections – and very melodic episodes. Similar to songs like Rats, Gernika nicely illustrates the versatility of the Iberian band. And – key message – they don’t feel to be weaker in one or the other discipline.
8. I Am Hatred
I wouldn’t rate I Am Hatred to be one of the highlights of the album. However, it is a nice, straight 3:28 minute thrasher. Good to rock your heart out before you head towards the final songs.
9. What Kills Us All (feat. Sho-Hai)
The last two tracks come with guest musicians again. Sho-Hai is maybe the most surprising one of the whole album, as he is a Spanish rapper. But: it works: he starts to have a vocal battle with Angelus Apatrida’s leading microphonist before he is getting some space for his solo vocal part (in Spanish, of course). At least, this leads to a really interesting new blending of the album.
10. Vultures And Butterflies (feat. Todd La Torre)
The last 4:44 minutes are reserved for Vultures And Butterflies – and for Todd La Torre, who is especially know as the singer of Queensryche. The US-American adds a nice touch to the final track, which again also presents some very ballad-alike episodes. Die-hard metalheads might mention that the song is not too thrashy any more. But it is hard to argue against that this one is a worthy chucker-out.
Angelus Apatrida – Aftermath – Spotify
Here is Aftermath on Spotify:
Angelus Apatrida – Aftermath – My View
If you top your local charts with a thrash metal album (outside Finland?), you are like rather talented. Angelus Apatrida did so with Angelus Apatrida – and regarding the quality of the album, it would be a shame if Aftermath wouldn’t do so again. There are some minor weak points, but overall, the album is a straight, fun listen.
Music from Spain
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