Monday, 9 February 2015

Apocrophex - Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/3/2015
Label: Manicidic Records

‘Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar’CD//DD  track listing:

1). The Grey
2). Evidence of a Desolate Planet
3). A Sanguine Moon
4). Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar
5). Designs not Derived from Man
6). The Nine Patterns of Anuu
7). Cycle of Kings
8). Being Dissolved
9). Exposed Organics

Apocrophex are:

Justin Buell | All Instruments
Pete Colucci | Vocals


New Jersey tech-death merchants Apocrophex bring the noise on this, their first full length following last year's EP. Well, if you like tech death, then you have come to the right place. The ghost of Schuldiner lives on through these tracks. The playing is uniformly excellent- and very complex. From a drumming stand point, this takes a lot of practice- lots of changes, lots of bass drums, lots of blasts. None of it is easy so credit has to be given. The guitars really are all over the fret board- in riffs and solos. They have that spacey feel that latter day Death had, too, which adds to the authenticity and overall vibe. ‘The Grey’ is a worthy opener of fearsome dexterity... and you could apply the same praise (apart from the “opener” bit) to ‘Evidence of a Desolate Planet’, too!

‘A Sanguine Moon’ blasts out of the gates with chugging riffs and fast picked overlay. Atonal verse sections are not as tech-y, but set things up for all-over-the-kit percussion and bass that is nicely warm in tone.  ‘Suspended from the Cosmic Altaar’ follows with labyrinthine guitar figures and very low vocals. It's not a jazz-fest either- the tracks here have genuine venom to them and some real aggressive power. Certainly, this is not really in the realms of, say, Cynic, it is more towards the grittier end of the sub-sub-genre.

‘Designs Not Derived From Man’ has a very triggered sounding snare roll to kick things off (fair do's, as when playing this quickly, getting clarity is very difficult- to be fair, it may not even be triggered... in which case: kudos!). There are some really clever guitar runs and a maelstrom of riffing too. This is a record high point for me-; if you want to sample the album to see if you like it, this is a good track to start with. Complex stuff.

‘The Nine Patterns of Anuu’ brings some melody to the table of complex brutality. The vocals are varied too (as they are throughout the album), but this is never less than death metal.
‘Cycle of Kings’ is brutality written with a calligraphy pen- intricate and complex, but still highly impactive. The fret boards take some serious (refined) abuse here, as does the kit. The riffs are not catchy, exactly, but this is not AC/DC; think ‘Individual Thought Patterns’, perhaps.

‘Being Dissolved’ is as deathy as it gets, the bass rings with metallic fervour, the bass drums are hammered and depths are reached with the vocals. A very death metal song title leaves you in no doubt what genre these New Jersey-ites are pinning their colours to the mast of. There are some more laid back sections here, bringing variety and thus we move on to ‘Exposed Organics’ for a final five and a half minutes of musical algebra.

In fairly simple summary, if you like technical death metal about conspiracies, sci-fi and so on: you will like this. It is a fine album and one that deserves to be heard.

Words by: Richard Maw

You can pick up a copy here

For more information: