Reviewed: September 2017
Released: 2017, Indie
Reviewer: Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus
With this review, I am pleased to introduce Denver-based, sci-fi themed progressive death metal act APOTHEON to the world. I enjoy finding and promoting local talent that shows promise for more than just playing dive bars. “Mechanically Consumed” is their debut EP, with three solid tracks (not counting an intro) and plenty of potential for growth. For those seeking a more familiar source of sonic comparison, another Colorado band (oh the irony!) called ALLEGAEON is close-ish enough in nature. While it’s common to try to distill a new artist into a mishmash of this-or-that band, plus that-or-this band (with a pinch of whomever-band), APOTHEON sounds more like themselves and less like anyone else, which is a pretty cool feat for a new band.
First and foremost, APOTHEON is made up of musicians who know how to slay their instruments. Guitarists Fernando del Valle III and Ian Burnside unleash one tight rollercoaster of a riff after another, interspersed with gorgeous sweeps and intricate melodies that would give most tech-prog bands a run for their money. At no point do they descend into guitar wankery, which I define as “playing lots of notes really fast because it’s fun and makes me look cool.” Andrew Morris’ drumming is appropriately precise & crushing, with plenty of blast beats and double kicks to go around. Thankfully, APOTHEON doesn’t trip into the hardcore-ish ‘breakdown’ prison in order to inspire headbangs. Vocalist/lyricist Reece Deeter does a fine job with the requisite screams and growls, although he feels just a little more ordinary compared to the excellent work of his bandmates.
On a track-by-track basis, the twenty minutes of “Mechanically Consumed” is mostly a tight ship. Intro track “Premonition” has a nice riff and feel, but could be cut in half and still serve its function. Flagship track “Tyken’s Rift” is a lean, mean killer that perfectly showcases APOTHEON’s strengths in songwriting, technical proficiency, and sonic creativity. Follow-up track “Mechanically Consumed” has a couple weaknesses, with a garish keyboard sound in the intro poorly blending with an otherwise strong riff. Halfway through the song, the music transitions from a sick blastbeat into a nonsensical circus-themed slowdown that totally threw me off. Outro track “The Flesh Machine” is another great showcase, with plenty of vicious riffing and interesting dynamic change-ups.
Overall, APOTHEON is a band to be watched. With a little more time, money, and a next-level production team, with a full-length album they could be a force to be reckoned with.
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