Guillermo Izquierdo – Vocals & Lead/Rhythm Guitars
David G. Álvarez – Lead & Rhythm Guitars
José J. Izquierdo – Bass Guitar
Víctor Valera – Drums
02. Bleed The Crown
03. The Age Of Disinformation
04. Rise Or Fall
05. Childhood’s End
06. Disposable Liberty
07. We Stand Alone
88. Through The Glass
09. Empire Of Shame
10. Into The Well
Formed almost exactly 20 years ago, Angelus Apatrida have more than earned their reputation as modern thrash metal greats. One of the few Spanish bands to enjoy continued international recognition, the band burst onto the global scene with their 2006 debut Evil Unleashed and have never looked back.
A close-knit four-man unit, Angelus Apatrida signed on the dotted line for a deal with Century Media Records in 2009: an unexpected achievement for a Spanish metal band, but one that they grabbed by the horns. With the always consistent line-up of frontman/guitarist Guillermo Izquierdo, bassist Jose Izquierdo, drummer Victor Valera, and guitarist David Alvarez, Angelus Apatrida have steadily evolved, releasing a series of stunning, genre-redefining records that belonged squarely in the thrash metal realm while never sounding quite like any other band. They reached an explosive creative peak with 2018’s widely acclaimed Cabaret de la Guillotine, but Angelus Apatrida are always looking for new ways to wreck necks and crack skulls.
I’m pleased to report that with their brand new self-titled seventh album, they’ve managed to do just that. Angelus Apatrida is a heavy metal tour-de-force; a volcanic offering aiming to melt faces and kick-ass and hitting it every step of the way. If you’re looking for ballads, you won’t find them here. From the relentless energy of opener ‘Indoctrinate’ to the machine-gun assault of ‘Into the Well,’ Angelus Apatrida grabs its listeners by the throat and refuses to let go. Everything you could possibly want from a modern-day thrash metal record is here. Powerful gritty vocals not unlike those of Testament’s Chuck Billy, frenetic guitar solos and punchy rhythm parts compete for space atop rumbling basslines and some of the best sounding drums I’ve heard on a thrash album.
‘Bleed the Crown’ has an irresistible groove and is a tightly focused rager that is destined to be a future live favourite, and ‘The Age of Disinformation’ is an angry and blistering attack on the media and propaganda, something that is still very prevalent in this day and age. The incredible ‘Rise or Fall’ has a monumental crunchy riff and memorable vocal melody reminiscent of Testament and Exhumer with aggressive gritty undertones. ‘Childhood’s End’ ups the ante with a breathless delivery and musical assault on the senses as it becomes one of the fastest songs on the album, and ‘Empire of Shame’ borrows a little from 80’s Metallica, Testament, and Pantera and throws it all in a blender.
The musicianship on display here is truly staggering and it’s a testament to their staying power as a band; the same four guys playing together for almost twenty years. This dedication shines through in the writing and performances throughout the entire album. Angelus Apatrida is one of the most exciting thrash metal albums I’ve heard in recent memory, and it’s an essential listen for any metalhead out there.