Reviewed: May, 2021
Released: February 5, 2021, Century Media Records
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
Modern thrash can sometimes be a polarizing subject. Sometime around late 2014 and early 2015, I somehow started discovering bands that carried the thrash torch loud and proud. What I found a lot of really good bands getting hammered with a lot of underserved shit because they were “unoriginal” or “rehashing” riffs. Spain’s Angelus Apatrida was one of those bands with their 2015 release, HIDDEN EVOLUTION. I found that album to be one of my favorites for 2015. The band surely threw a nod to the old school and you can hear their influences right up front in their songwriting. However, the album was really solid and still gets regular rotation….until now.
Yes, Spain’s neck breakers have returned with a self titled album that does not waste any time but start pummeling you with crushing riffs and pounding speed. With the opener, “Indoctrination,” they manage to throw a lot of elements into the songs along with the speed straight away. Their melodic moments remind you of Testament they add this small amount of groove to balance it all out without watering down the thrash. You get a godly solo before the song reaches the one minute mark, that carries a lot of weight with me. That is one of the things about modern thrash, the guitar work. I believe there is more of a focus for being technical like Tommy T. Baron instead of trying to just play fast, incoherent runs all over the fretboard a la Kerry King.
And as I go through the album, the word consistency crosses my mind. I had heard their most recent output, 2018’s CABARET DE LA GUILLOTINE only in passing so I am not that familiar with it but based on everything I had heard, these guys are consistent. They have a formula that is working for them and there is no need for them to stop now. That said, I guess one would call it cliché but no good thrash album would be complete without your socially relevant lyrical content. Thrash has always been about rebelling against injustice and the oligarchy. “The Age of Disinformation” is one of those songs. But besides the message, the music is pure thrash. This song is technically brilliant, the riffs are monstrous, and the solos shreds. That is how thrash should be done.
So, once again, Angelus Apatrida has delivered another great modern thrash album. As I mentioned earlier, these guys are consistent. Not only do they have a formula that works, they have their own standards in how they write songs. They do not compromise at all. This is essential modern thrash! Neck braces sold separately.