Angelus Apatrida - Cabaret de la guillotine - (9/10)
Published on December 15, 2018
The focal point of the album and the songs is: the almighty riff. Not sure about the water in Albacete, but there must be a riff infestation, if this lot can belt them out in impressive density, but despite all the parallels to especially Testament, Cabaret de la Guillotine is anything but a clone, quite the contrary. Where Chuck Billy has displayed quite the vocal prowess throughout the past few years and albums, Guillermo Izquierdo masters the mighty thrash metal bellow as much as great clean vocals that contrast the intense delivery otherwise.
Another point where Angelus Apatrida can score big times is the songwriting. They can thrash with the best of them, but at the same time they also manage to weave in more power metal choruses, where Izquierdo’s cleans come into play, like in the opening title track that sets out with acoustic guitars, but then quickly builds up into an all-out thrasher with tons of power, the driving bridge and then the melodic chorus, all in one immensely tight package and dynamics to power Spain.
“Downfall of the Nation” shows the Spaniards’ bottom-laden heaviness, whereas high octane “One of Us”has enough power to pin the listener against a wall and “The Die is Cast” injects the by now typical Angelus Apatrida sense of melody into a tight thrashfest. Izquierdo’s shining moment comes in the form of “Farewell”, which is what could be called a thrash ballad with ominous guitar runs and an exceptional delivery on the microphone. Well, until the riff decides to break down the wall and take the song into a tight thrash attack to break up the serenity, injecting some awesome dynamics into the song, before “Martyrs of Chicago” throws all of that out of the window and bashes the fan over the head with a spiked thrash metal bat (but still with melodic guitar lines to soften the blow a bit) as final goodbye.
Embedded into a very tight and powerful production that allows plenty of space for the songs to unfold their power, Cabaret de la Guillotine is another proud notch in the belt for Angelus Apatrida that has the potential to draw in listeners from outside of thrash metal as well. Keeping a great balance between aggression and melody these songs should be a blast live and maybe check if the neighbours are home before putting this one on…