Album Review – Angelus Apatrida / Angelus Apatrida (2021)

Forged in turmoil but full of the hope that only music can inspire, the new album by the Spanish angels of thrash is indeed the pulverizing metal record that the whole world needs right now.

Brought into being in 2000 in Albacete, a city and municipality in the Spanish autonomous community of Castilla–La Mancha, Spain’s leading Thrash Metal institution Angelus Apatrida returns to the battlefield now in 2021 with their seventh full-length opus, self-titled Angelus Apatrida, celebrating 20 years as a band. Forged in turmoil but full of the hope that only music can inspire, the album is the pulverizing metal record that the world needs right now, showcasing all the dexterity of Guillermo Izquierdo on vocals and guitars, David G. Álvarez also on the guitars, José J. Izquierdo on bass and Víctor Valera on drums. Recorded by Juan Angel López at Baboon Records, mixed by Christopher “Zeuss” Harris at Planet Z Studios, and displaying an ass-kicking artwork by Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsák (Hjules Illustration and Design), Angelus Apatrida features ten original songs that sound more determined, versatile and ferocious than ever before, inviting us all to slam into the circle pit to the band’s undisputed thrashing music.

And five seconds is all those Spanish bastards need to kill with a Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile”-inspired hymn entitled Indoctrinate, a brutal thrashing anthem to kick off the album on a high note, penetrating deep inside our minds with their wicked sounds and catchy-as-hell lyrics (“Indoctrinate / through fear then / dominate / Indoctrinate / one true faith / inculcate / Predominate / strong voices will be heard / Intoxicate / snake tongues to / indoctrinate”), whereas in Bleed The Crown the stringed duo Guillermo and David is ruthless with their razor-edged riffs while Víctor keeps hammering his drums nonstop, resulting in another bestial fusion of Thrash and Groove Metal. Then we have The Age Of Disinformation, with Guillermo viciously singing about our addiction to new tech, about the spread of fake news and how we’re forgetting to enjoy reality (“Slaves, dependents, victims of technology / Exposed to a world of lies / Living through the age of disinformation”), while José and Víctor make the earth tremble with the heavy kitchen; followed by Rise Or Fall, another song inspired by the golden years of Pantera with the band’s own Spanish twist where the quartet doesn’t stop blasting sheer violence and heaviness through their sonic weapons of mass destruction, spearheaded by the austere screams by Guillermo. And there’s no sign of slowing down as Angelus Apatrida fire another round of their high-octane, incendiary Thrash Metal in the form of Childhood’s End, showcasing an amazing job done by Guillermo and David with their sick riffs and solos.

In Disposable Liberty we’re treated to a solid instrumental led by the groovy beats and fills by Víctor, albeit not as vibrant nor as dynamic as its predecessors but still presenting tons of good elements like the low-tuned, metallic bass jabs by José, and back to a more frantic and vicious sonority the quartet offers our avid ears the headbanging tune We Stand Alone, perfect for slamming into the circle pit like a maniac while blending Bay Area Thrash with European Thrash and Groove Metal. Following such infernal tune, Víctor sounds like a stone crusher on drums, pulverizing everything and everyone that crosses his path in Through The Glass, while his bandmates extract endless aggressiveness and rage from their respective instruments. And there’s no escape from the thrashing madness blasted by Angelus Apatrida, as they keep smashing their instruments in the classic Empire Of Shame, with Guillermo, David and José being on fire with their intricate and thunderous riffs and bass punches, whereas closing the album they bring forward the menacing, sharp-as-a-knife Into The Well, presenting an awesome sync between Víctor’s wicked beats and their electrifying riffage throughout almost six minutes of first-class, contemporary Thrash Metal for the masses.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of Thrash Metal or not, you have to admit Angelus Apatrida have outdone themselves in their newborn spawn, providing the heavy community another sensational display of their skills and their passion for heavy music, therefore sending a sound statement to all mankind that those Spanish metallers are far from calling it quits, having the sky as their limit. Hence, don’t forget to give them a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their music and videos, to stream all of their albums on Spotify, and of course to purchase their new album by clicking HERE, adding to your personal collection what’s by far one of the most exciting Thrash Metal albums hailing from Europe from the past decade. As already mentioned, this is the type of album our world needs right now, with the Spanish angels of thrash offering us fans a very good reason to slam into the pit and bang our heads like there’s no tomorrow while our rotten society crumbles into pieces.

Best moments of the album: Indoctrinate, Rise Or Fall, We Stand Alone and Empire Of Shame.

Worst moments of the album: Disposable Liberty.

Released in 2021 Century Media Records

Track listing
1. Indoctrinate 5:39
2. Bleed The Crown 4:26
3. The Age Of Disinformation 4:42
4. Rise Or Fall 3:36
5. Childhood’s End 3:49
6. Disposable Liberty 4:21
7. We Stand Alone 4:11
8. Through The Glass 5:41
9. Empire Of Shame 4:17
10. Into The Well 5:47

Band members
Guillermo Izquierdo – vocals, guitars
David G. Álvarez – guitars
José J. Izquierdo – bass
Víctor Valera – drums

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