APOPHYS…a band I knew nothing about, but have made it my mission to find out everything I could as of late. One listen to their debut album Prime Incursion (out April 7 via Metal Blade Records) and you’ll totally get why. This is yet ANOTHER discovery I made thanks to my buddy Tito (I swear he’s gonna bankrupt me!), and of course I immediately purchased the CD/T-shirt bundle (I’m weak…so very weak). Hailing from the Netherlands these guys are up there with DEIVOS and HIDEOUS DIVINITY for me in terms of Death Metal greatness right now. Hell, even Mini-Amps approves; he was shaking the fucking car like a madman on Friday when I had the CD on!
The first thing one might notice about this band and this album is how it seizes you by the throat and doesn’t let go across nine tracks. At the risk of repeating myself, I simply MUST use words like “pummeling”, “brutalizing”, “punishing” and “bludgeoning” because that’s what happens. They simply do NOT let up. Opener “Dimensional Odyssey” serves as our introduction to drummer Michiel van der Plicht who comes in like a battering ram, Mickeal Schuurman’s bass Krazy Glued to every beat. Vocally Kevin Quilligan is one of my new favorites in the genre, his growls capable of making a newbie piss themselves. On the guitar front Sanne van Dijk and Koen Romeijn deliver a neverending supply of technical riffs designed to make heads spin and imitators’ fingers bleed. This is especially true on “Requiem For the Absurd” one of my favorites that is guaranteed to give any Death Metal fan musical wood.
“The Antidote” opens with dialogue from the movie I Am Legend then proceeds to tear at the very fabric of your being like the undead do to flesh. It’s a slamming track that is perfect for a workout mix, no question. “Ego”starts out dark and moody, the band warming up slowly, not unlike a pitcher throwing in the bullpen before he comes in to close out the big game. But when they bring the heat, it’s a 100 mph fastball that you swing at uselessly and you’re out. Blast beats are everywhere for “The Sentient”, and Quilligan sounds the most vicious on this one. Slow and grinding is how I would classify “The Final Step”, and “Humanity’s Epilogue” just beats you over the head until you submit.
Chugging riffs and unholy guttural growls are what’s on tap for “Miscreants” while closer “The Red Planet” throws the whole kit and caboodle at you in a final skirmish with one goal in mind: Splitting your head wide fuckin’ open! At the end of the day there’s not a single bad track on Prime Incursion, and these nine songs of furious, sci-fi tinged Death Metal are just what the doctor ordered. If you’re looking for the next great band in extreme metal, then look no further than APOPHYS.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Dimensional Odyssey”, “Requiem For the Absurd”, “The Antidote”, “The Red Planet”