Angelus Apatrida - Hidden Evolution - (9.5/10)
Published on February 7, 2015
Label:Century Media Records
Angelus Apatrida went from being an underground thrash curiosity with their overlooked career to being one of the most refreshing and vigilant acts from the thrash resurgence on their 2012 record The Call. That record established them as a force to be reckoned with using unrelenting energy, performances to match, and a boosted ability to write songs that never let the listener drift throughout its ten-track playlist. For the Spanish thrashers fifth record, Hidden Evolution, they continue to perfect these new found abilities and – dare I say it, improve on what I thought would have been a career defining record for them.
Hidden Evolution only really improves one thing against their last record: the hook. The band has always incorporated some hooks into their thrash metal, but with Hidden Evolution they have become top of the food chain in these regards. Vocalist Guillermo Izquierdo, in particularly, seemingly has topped himself in damn near every regard – throwing down vocals that are both innately thrashy in his harsh snarling, but quite melodic when they need to be. The choruses throughout just catch the ear. Whether it’s the harsher “Immortal” or the big sing-a-long pieces of “I Owe You Nothing,” Angelus Apatrida are incorporating them in more effective manners. Even the song writing seems to inject more hooks into their technical melodic ferocity. It makes it easier to consume without negating their already stellar musicianship.
This, or course, is built on the crushing tank of thrash that is Angelus Apatrida’s sound. The band continues to impress with their winding guitar work that’s ripe with technical showmanship in their riffing and especially in the non-stop lead work and they are not afraid to change up tempo or pacing with the Annihilator like speed of “Serpents on Parade,” the occasional groove riff on “Architects,” or the epic and progressively tinged title track closer. The unrelenting speed, the hits of diversity in the writing, and the damn near perfect production for a thrash album…yeah, Hidden Evolution is simply top notch all the way around.
So if you are a fan of the newer ‘old school’ bands that blend modern aspects with the classic thrash foundation like Havok or Evile, then Hidden Evolution is a must own kind of record. Its energetic intensity is unmatched and somehow the band is album to inflict massive hooks and some impressive technical playing prowess without ever losing the balance. Angelus Apatrida is one of the greatest thrash bands in existence right now and you are only doing yourself a disservice by not listening to Hidden Evolution. So get on that or be left obsolete.
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Thanks for turning me on to this one Matt. Been spinning it constantly for the last couple of days. Like a more up-beat testament. And the singer sounds like the guy from Crazy Lixx (when he's not sounding like Chuck Billy). I dig it.