I gotta say I didn´t expect much from this Belgian act, I mean the unknown label releasing this EP, the rather stereotyped artwork, I don´t know, something about the whole package seemed trivial to begin with.
“Drenched In Grace”, despite its somewhat nerveless visual presentation, definitely smokes badass! Here´s more proof to the fact that Belgium has some nice gems hidden in the underground, seriously, sending out a search unit to find more quality bands like APOCRYPH might well end up with a new rising star in the European scene.
The band´s music is made up of solid Gothenburg riff´o´ramas, old school thrash rhythms and smooth lead guitars influenced equally by the NWOBHM wave, mid-nineties Swedish Death Metal, and to some extent, early nineties American Death Metal. As you might have guessed, APOCRYPH sound like it´s 1992 again. The writing has a very accomplished feel to it, much like Italy´s GORY BLISTER, which naturally leads to associations to the mighty DEATH (“Spiritual Healing” vibes come to light more than once) though not as technical. Many props to the lead and solo work, infectious, well constructed and very enjoyable. Amidst the highly addictive Metal music is a vocalist, who´s kinda stuck on his own island and never really shines through with his mediocre growling style.
Maybe not overly exciting, the band doesn´t experiment much outside their formula, which means the listening experience never escalates to a higher level, but you get a healthy dose of well played, mid to fast paced Extreme Metal with plenty of melodic finesse, that´s for sure!
I definitely recommend this godsend EP to anyone who´s into the concise riff & lead guitar blueprint of old!!!
(Online January 22, 2008)