APOPHYS first came into my life in early 2015 when my good buddy Tito turned me onto their debut album Prime Incursion. One listen was all it took for me to become a full-on megafan and I immediately purchased the CD/T-shirt bundle, because that’s what I do when I love a band. That album, nearly three years later, is still played often here at A&GS HQ, and has been a staple in Mini-Amps’ iPod for over a year. He loves it as much as I do. So when their sophomore disc Devoratis (out now, Ultimate Massacre Productions) showed up recently I/we were all in. Based on a science fiction story written by vocalist Kevin Quilligan, it’s a tale of an unlikely union of two forces against an intergalactic race led by a zealous leader named Consul.
Opener “Children of the Stars” comes in hot and here is where we meet our protagonist, an Operator called Zohm. His job is to demolish planets at the behest of Consul. The reason behind this turns out to be a falsehood, and when he fails to take out one particular planet, all Hell breaks loose. Riff-wise this one had my immediate attention, and the melody really kicks you in the sternum. Next we have “The Verdict” which shows Zohm being exiled to the planet he was supposed to destroy. This track is crazy busy, blast beats flying about, while the riffs shoot everything in sight. Meanwhile “Xiux – The Parasite” has a very sci-fi feel to it, and channels elements of BEHEMOTH, both in the music and vocal delivery.
“Matters Unresolved” is easily one of the most aggressive tracks on the disc and both band and vocalist go for broke from beginning to end. This was a definite favorite, that’s for sure. The same can be said for “Deadlock” which employs an absolute pummeling approach and never takes its foot off your neck. “What We Will Be” is very interesting with the way it starts out and the overall direction it takes, reminding me of some FEAR FACTORY tunes. That’s another band I love, so I hope the APOPHYS guys take that as a compliment. “Retaliate” is one of those tunes that makes me want to smash things and throw stuff through windows, so obviously I loved it.
Closing the disc is “Occasus” and if there’s one song I abused the REPEAT button to more than others, this one is it. I judge albums on many things, but the openers and closers are always big factors when I’m scoring. And this is one MOTHERFUCKER of a way to end this record. With Devoratis, it is clear that APOPHYS have struck gold for a second straight time, and this is an album that should get tons of praise. Because that praise is well-deserved. It’s only February, but these guys are very much in contention for Death Metal Album of the Year in 2018. Pick up your copy today, and finish the story. You know you wanna see how this ends…
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Children of the Stars”, “Occasus”, “Matters Unresolved” “Retaliate”