Band – Angelus Apatrida
Album – Angelus Apatrida
Country of Origin – Spain
Genre – Thrash Metal
Release Date – February 5, 2021
Label – Century Media Records
Author – Hayduke X
Some metal subgenres can survive, and even thrive on atmosphere, on sounds that cause meditation or discomfort. That is to say, not all metal subgenres require well written riffs. Thrash is not one of these subgenres. There are plenty of other elements to thrash metal, but it starts and ends with the riffs. If you don’t have them, you end up in the soupy mass of throwback and modern thrash pretenders that might be good, but are certainly not good enough. Fortunately, I’m here today to write about a band that not only knows how to write a good riff, but also knows how to fit them compositionally in with the other thrash necessities, like speed, aggression, driving rhythms, tempo changes, strong, yet abrasive vocals, and lyrics that hammer home societal ills.
As Angelus Apatrida enters its 21st year as a band, the quartet gives us a complete album, their seventh full length overall, which serves as a memo to me that I have some serious back catalogue listening to catch up on. Perhaps the fact that the band hails from Spain explains why I haven’t caught up to them until this point, or perhaps it’s because I have taken a serious dive into thrash since the mid-90s. Regardless, I’ve been missing out and perhaps you have too. If so, let this self titled offering serve as their resume to inclusion to the pantheon of modern thrash greats.
Holding down the drum kit with tempo pushing and varied rhythms is Víctor Valera. He is joined by the thundering bass of José J. Izquierdo, whose rhythmic attack hits with tectonic power. Rhythm and lead guitar, as well as vocal duties, are shared by David G. Álvarez and Guillermo Izquierdo, whose prowess is on full display in all aspects. Of course, as mentioned above, the real strength of the album lies in how well all of the parts fit together.
To be honest, I’m not generally much of a lyrics guy, but in this case, let me encourage you to take the time to read them. Thrash has a long history of political and social lyrics, but Angelus Apatrida seem exceptionally potent and clear on this album. As early as the first track, they are clearly calling out fascism. Some of my favorites appear in We Stand Alone. I’ll drop them below, but let me say that I stand with them:
Shedding tears of hostility
but feel the calm at the end of the rope
Desperation and anxiety
turns into rage against the reactionary scum
The media is bowing to the tyrants
Never trust the wolves of the State
Only the people can save the people
The time is always right to do what is right
Perhaps it’s time to declare a new Big Four of thrash, a modern Big Four, so to speak. If so, let me nominate Angelus Apatrida for potential inclusion. This album seems ample proof to me. While you mull that over, I’m going to go back through to enjoy their back catalog.
Preorder the album here
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.