Reviewed: June 2000
Released: 2000, Sanctuary Records
Sub by Apollyon Sun is the long-awaited CD from Tom G. Warrior, now referred to as Tom Fischer. Tom is best known for his ground-breaking, and now legendary, work with Celtic Frost. Frost were always innovative and remain influential to this day. If you’ve read or heard anything about Apollyon Sun, you know that Tom was not planning on rehashing the past or re-living past glories. Apollyon Sun are a band that sounds like they have been influenced by (non-metal) bands like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and White Zombie. I even hear a bit of VioVod in their music ( the more bizarre elements from the band that is). Some of Tom’s David Bowie influence is also creeping into the mix here but to me it’s the Manson sounds that stand out. I’ve had this CD on for a few people and that’s also the first thing they said – “Is that Manson?”
If this music was stripped down to the essentials – vocals / bass / drums and guitar – this would of been a lot better. What can I say – I mostly prefer my metal straight up. There are too many industrial/techno sound effects happening here for me. The guitar sound is actually quite good. The guitar at the beginning of “Feeder” is way thick and heavy. The music is still very dark sounding and the heavy guitar is still the major element in this electronic mix. The CD opener “Dweller” is one of the better tracks on the CD. The video for this track suits the music perfectly – it may not see much airplay, unless some of the R-rated scenes are removed ha! The dark and doomy track “Naked Underground” reminds me of Bowie big time! I never thought I’d hear Tom’s vocals sounding like Bowie’s, but the proof is in this song. Tom manages to get a couple of is “vocalisms” on the CD. You can here the occasional “Oughh” – but it’s much more in the background and is not used to emphasize every time change. Also, he’s dropped the “Heyyyy” – too bad.
If you like stuff like Manson, White Zombie, VoiVod, NIN, and Bowie then I know you’ll be into this. If you’re into metal and think that Celtic Frost’s crowning glory was “Circle of the Tyrants” then Apollyon Sun are not going to do much for you besides make you wish Celtic Frost were still on the go. Reports are that Frost may unite. In what capacity they may do so is yet unknown. It would be nice to hear what spin they would put on extreme metal in this era and if they could satisfy today’s fans of extreme experimental metal.
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