Young Canadian band Apogean, based in Toronto, this year has produced independently its first ever release – EP Into Madness. And with it they’ve intended to draw the attention of the lovers of progressive death metal with a loyal attitude towards modern elements.
The categorization of musical genres for these Canadian metalheads isn’t too prominent a thing, it seems like they have chosen fluidity over bordering rules, so the musical melodies flow through without restrictions or consequent order. But still, structurally the songs are well-built and the constant mood changes sound so smoothly pertinent, that you don’t even focus on such things as stylistic rules. These guys have fun and at the same time they are very serious about how their music should sound, trying it to fit in the version of their personal best. And they do it convincingly, so even the weakest points sound like it was made on purpose.
The overall progressivity of this album is on an ongoing basis, but often it is shifted to the background, giving way to eloquent catchiness and modern drive. The most technical moments are obtained by guitar lines, which are also responsible for disharmonic musical patterns, hinting on some mathcore principles. These discordant passages even sometimes quarrel with the main melodies, making them a bit chaotic, but also more meaningful in their pensive profundity (especially on “Vacuous”). The total aggression of death metal is lightened up by melodic elements, turning their music toward melodic death metal or even metalcore (self-titled track “Into Madness”). But this lightness is occasionally bothered with darker and heavier blasts, implying on some deathcore nods. So everything on Into Madness revolves around these main points – from classical death metal to modern and dark deathcore to Scandinavian mdm and alt. rock genres. But there are some other surprises as well, making this EP even more diverse. Like the ritualistic passage on “Through vast Existence” or dreamy and pensive vibes on “Pale Moon” or “Vacuous”. And even the rhythm of this album doesn’t stand still, offering the fastest craziness, as well as melancholic slowdowns.
Maybe there are some clichés in the guitar riffs, or the vocal lines are too boringly typical for metalcore, but that’s the point of classical metal’s existence, there are some traditions or even rules, you can’t leapfrog. Apogean aren’t leaning towards experimental explorations, even with all the stylistic games and tiny surprises, their metal foundation has strong roots. This album is a journey from the pure sanity to the deepest madness, which leads to the purifying resurgence in the end, showing all these highest peaks of mental struggles in the form of musical art.
Release date: June 11th 2021
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