From the reaches of Denver, Colorado comes an exciting, new band welding together Death and Progressive Metal. This unit boasts a strong, four man line-up including vocalist Reece Deeter (ex-Vale of Pnath), drummer Andrew Morris (Dissonance In Design), and awesome string work from guitarist Fernando del Valle III and bassist Ibrahim Jimenez. Guitarist Ian Burnside was also a part of the band’s creative process before peacefully parting ways with the band. Altogether, they go by the name of Apotheon. They also prove to be a hyper creative and extremely talented force forged in the fires of metal (and probably covered in nano machines or some shit as the concept of their latest release dictates).
^ Out of those parenthesis and into the open, let’s talk about Apotheon’s latest release! This is a four track behemoth of an EP that I’m sure a number of you will greatly enjoy. It comes packed with an epic science fiction narrative (or at least that’s how I perceived it) and a number of musical ideas. You can give a listen for yourself through the streams provided below and pick up the beast over on Bandcamp and their Official Website.
Now, into the meat of this mechanical metalwork abomination…
The EP literally winds up before letting loose with waves of sound on the instrumental opener of “Premonition”. This is an impressive first display of the talents going into this release. I also enjoy the luxuriant ending of this intro before it transitions to the next track. In a way, this commencement compositionally tells a story of hope and evolution… before the fall…
“Tyken’s Rift” is where the spirit of Progressive / Technical Death Metal spirit really begins to slap on this release. However, it undergoes a constant and awe inspiring metamorphosis. Especially the ending of this track floors me but from start to finish it’s great.
That brings me to one of the main strengths found on “Mechanically Consumed”… Underneath the layers of dystopian brutality, there’s a very lush beauty to be found with this record… even in some of its darkest moments… It hits hard but frequently melts back into these delicious verdant sounds. In this way, there’s a certain duality to be found here.
The title track begins in a fury of chaotic sound complimented by some MIDI orchestral elements. This is easily the most dissonant track on the EP up to this point and shows a devastating force throughout. Expect a few interesting twists as well.
“Flesh Machine” is, appropriately, the most mechanical track on the record. It does come strapped with a nice, warm, fuzzy section to mix things up but it generally ends the evolution exhibited through the duration of the entire record.
As hinted before, there’s a bit of a story playing out musically on “Mechanically Consumed”. It begins lush and hopeful and, as things progress, becomes more ruthless and cold. The band seems to be quite literally illustrating the mechanical consumption of a once green world and the horror of it all through their music. This is some high concept science fiction Death Metal! I also believe it works hand in hand with the front cover art beautifully. Speaking of which, shout out to Caelan Stokkermans for making the terrifyingly awesome cover art!
I don’t have any real harsh criticisms of this record. Probably my number one qualm would be some of the MIDI and synth choices filled in. Even then many sound awesome but some moments do sound a bit cheap. Other than that, at worst, some listeners might hope it was longer but that’s the bane of most of EPs, right? And in reality, the amount of content packed into this one is still somewhat staggering.
Speaking of which, in many ways, this stands exactly as a Technical / Progressive Death Metal EP should stand. Of course, there’s no right or wrong in that category but this is a complete package weaving out an entire epic tale and cramming in impressive note density between it’s 20+ minute, four track run time. Sometimes, huge things can be found in smaller packages and Apotheon prove to be masters of such compression! Very impressive.
In the end, when all the Earth is Mechanically Consumed, a final message remains. This tortured creature of blood and metal has achieved near perfection where humanity has failed. The nano machines force up outstretched hands towards a desecrated atmosphere, forever stripped to the cold dark of stars. These hands are threaded by the sinews of chromium fate to a face twisted open by a permanent scream of glowing red. One by one, all the fingers and opposable digits unfurl hoping for salvation that will never come. All of them but one…
Terrible science fiction writing aside, I’ll give this record a 9 out of 10.
This is an absolutely great record from an absolutely great band showing high levels of potential. It should be interesting to see where they go from here, both sonically and conceptually. Once again, you can check out the music through the links provided up above and grab the EP over on Bandcamp and the band’s official website. If you want to follow along with the band directly, you may do so through their social network hubs on Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube. Hope you all enjoy the record and show Apotheon some love in the process!