Review: Apocrophex – Suspended from the Cosmic Altar

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Unrelenting is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Suspended from the Cosmic Altar. From album opener “The Grey” all the way to the closing track “Exposed Organics,” Aprocrophex relentlessly pummel the listener with their furious brand of death metal.

Apocrophex play a style of technical death metal unlike anything I’ve heard. It’s not that it hasn’t been done before, but the way the band does it just seems unique. Let me start off by saying I really love the vocals in this band. They are the sort of vocals you would expect from a brutal death metal band, but they’ve been repurposed here. The low tone of the vocals is definitely reminiscent of BDM, but at the same time it doesn’t go full on guttural and instead leans more towards the standard DM side while still keeping that really low tone. At times there are semi clean vocals that almost sound as if they are shouted in some sort of agony and do a good job of injecting emotion. It’s a very unique and yet somehow familiar sound, and it works flawlessly within the sound Apocrophex system.

Instrumentally, Apocrophex are nothing short of spectacular. The drumming is absolutely crushing and is accented wonderfully by the precisely executed riffing present on the entirety of the album. At any given moment on the album, you can be guaranteed there is some sort of riffage going on. While said riffs aren’t always super crazy or complicated, make no mistake, they are damn good. The production on this album is perfect. Everything sounds how it should, and you can tell that there was a lot of time and care put into ensuring the album sounds the way it does. I noticed that at certain times it almost seems borderline dissonant without going into full skronk territory. They never quite fully make that plunge, though, because that’s not who they are. Anything is possible in the future, but for right now Apocrophex have a style all their own and it’s something they should be proud of.

Apocrophex have crafted an album that is easily one of my early favorites of 2015 and a shining example of how to do technical death metal right. I have listened to this album a somewhat unhealthy amount of times since receiving the promo, and it only gets better with each repeated listen. There are no silly 1-minute filler tracks here, just pure, punishing, technical death metal. Every song is well-crafted and filled to the brim with ferocious brutality. Suspended From the Cosmic Altar will dazzle you and at times leave you in awe while simultaneously demolishing your face in the best way possible.

Suspended From the Cosmic Altar drops on March 10th. You can pre-order the album at their Bandcamp or BigCartel and of course follow them on Facebook if you dig them. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to this album again.

NO FLUSH

(Photo VIA)

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  • Tyreeling In The Years
  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    listen to the song “the grey” by aprocraphex–while watching this vid
    http://youtu.be/tRgMi14uurM

    • I loled hard at that song title

      • Spear

        It’s gonna be the name of my new blackened techgrind project

      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        whoops

    • Tyreeling In The Years

      This seems to better with this.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBo3cfrJB38

      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        great folk music and blood gurgling—-johnny cash -pissed off–andon angel dust

  • Spear

    Huh. It’s like if Decapitated went in a BDM direction with some black metal undertones. I dig.

    • VVayne Brady

      BSDM direction?

      • Spear

        BDSM direction

        • VVayne Brady

          I had a feeling my lettas was off.

      • Brutal sexy death metal?

  • Dagon

    Even though Tech Death is not usually my thing the way you write about it always makes me give it at least one try.

  • This is good. I like this.

  • tertius_decimus

    > Apocrophex play a style of technical death metal unlike anything I’ve heard.

    Have you ever heard of Sleep Terror?

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    new perception of what was>>>—lies and truth

    both at once–1st vid 15%vol—2nd vid full vol
    http://youtu.be/HSSPUmrFhgo

    http://youtu.be/UKHnkOArJ4Y?list=PL38591848269AB91B

  • SWOLEBEARD

    Dis not in my wheelhouse, sry JB

    OT: Another xian freak followed me. This one is “The Way, Truth, and Life.” Wtf is it that draws the people I hate the most towards me? Amidoingitwrong?

    • Lol he followed me too

      • God ov All

        Same here. But I thought that was normal for me lol

        • Maybe he thinks toiletovhell means something elsE?

          • God ov All

            as long as he doesn’t start replying to us all im cool with being followed.

        • SWOLEBEARD

          Nah. This is definitely not the first, either. I know it stems from the coal rollings, as well as these freaks’ need to proselytize, but I still dont understand it. Glad that I’m not alone.

          Also, dat was funny.

          • God ov All

            Being Christian myself (unsurprisingly) even im like “seriously dude?” With these overly preachy types.

          • SWOLEBEARD

            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • KJM

            God will deal wit you as a hoe!!

            Biotcch

          • more beer

            He will deal with him as a garden tool?

    • Same here. Wat lol

    • It’s probably the masterlord trolling us all

    • Based Tapir

      Maybe he’s trying to save you from your sinful ways?

      • God ov All

        Swolebeard is beyond saving.

        • Based Tapir

          And that’s why I love him.

    • KJM

      Yep, me too.

      • more beer

        That fucker got everyone. I deleted his ass.

    • Max

      I got him too. Didn’t follow back.

    • JWG’s Shifty Lateral Ventricle

      Yes, me too.

      I thought he’d somehow been attracted by my one interaction here relating to Christian metal (reply to comment about Antestor).

      If everyone else has been followed, though, I am at a loss…

    • more beer

      Everyone here got it from that idiot. I believe the solution is beating him down with a crucifix.

    • hehe, he followed me yesterday and i removed him right away. he followed me again a few minutes later.
      pesky fella. i think he’s trying to get us to visit that christian metal page.

  • God ov All

    I just baured all over this post.

    • So you shouted at it demanding that it tell you where the bomb was right?

      • God ov All

        Of course! Maybe with an erection as well.

    • The God Emperor of Mankind

      Idk, I found it a bit like typical tech death. But then again I’m all about my DM being old school and organic-y.

      • whoawhoawhoa, two Gods? i assumated you two were the same

        • The God Emperor of Mankind

          I started out as the most awesome dude that was ever created. I had to ascend because apparently, genetically engineered superhuman warriors still have daddy issues. And Tzeentch is a dick.

  • CT-12

    Sounds pretty sick man, will have to add this to the old BC wishlist!

  • Max

    Some interesting stylistic juxtapositions going on here. I like the microtonality, the tempo fluctuations, the guitar-layering, and the slightly more tonal vocal style mentioned in the write-up. If anything, I think they should drop the sweep-picking frills, which sort of impinge on the vibe somewhat.

    But I’ll investigate this further.

    • SWOLEBEARD

      For the sake of livening up this place, I’ll agree with you. It goes back to the conversation I had earlier with someone (scrimm) about sweep picking being overused.

      • Max

        It is getting overused nowadays, certainly. To say nothing of the fact that (and I’m not a good enough expert on guitar-playing to say this without contradiction, but bear with me) it’s a technique which appears to be easier to apply to scales that don’t sound “evil” or dissonant enough, according to fret-board layout. Or, it could be that the scales used ARE sufficiently evil enough; but because the note progressions are so quick, the melody is losing its dark vibe.

        That’s a problem I have with a lot of tech-death, actually; in a more general sense. Bands that gravitate toward technicality in their songwriting seem to lose a lot of death metal’s dark, brooding vibe in favour of compositions that sound like light-hearted musical puzzles.

        These guys have got plenty of “dark brooding vibe” in their output, but that’s making the widdly stuff sound even more out of place than it would in, say, Archspire.

        I dunno – maybe I’ll get used to it. But I think they’re one of those bands who may well progress in such a way that their music simplifies in order to better present their selling points. Kinda like how Slayer stopped trying to ape Mercyful Fate or Iron Maiden and started streamlining their approach.

        • SWOLEBEARD

          No, you’re not totally incorrect. A sweep pick is a succession of notes, they can be from any key or mode.

          • Max

            They can, but I was theorizing that maybe the “happier” modes are easier to play in that technique, which is why tech death bands default to them.

            To reference a common criticism of Rings of Saturn: It just kinda ends up sounding like video game music. More “Oh no, you fell over, lose 5 points” than “Prepare to be abducted by demons and drowned in the void of your own stunted mortal soul” -type thing.

        • Why does death metal need to be dark and brooding?

          • Max

            Well, it doesn’t. I just prefer it when it is. I really don’t like Arch Enemy, for example. That’s just not the sort of melody lines that I expect to hear when I listen to a style of music called “death metal”. Call it the bias of my imagination, if you like.

          • Personal preference, you might say? Art is subjective and all that?

          • Max

            Of course.

          • Apocrophex

            Interesting grasshopper…you are wise beyond your years. I happen to agree with you but I feel its just a progression into the core elements of what it is I’m trying to convey. The two tracks I’ve written in the last two weeks echo your sentiments exactly. Now go buy my album lol!!!

          • Max

            Thank you for weighing in. Rest assured I FULLY intend to buy your album. Is it coming out on CD at any point?

          • Apocrophex

            Yes we have CDs in hand. http://Www.apocrophex.bandcamp.com

          • Max

            Ah, indeed you do! I’d already visited your Bandcamp page but hadn’t looked closely enough at the text. I’ll get my local extreme music emporium to order a disc in for me; consider it done! And sincerely – thank you again for responding to my thoughts. I’m pretty sure the album’s gonna be killer.

          • Apocrophex

            I think you’ll find much more depth than you expected (At least I hope so!) Cheers man!

          • SWOLEBEARD

            Do you not like cannibal corpse? Mortician?

          • I like Mortician and Cannibal Corpse, but CC isn’t really dark and brooding, they’re frantic and aggressive (usually). Same with Suffocation and the like.

          • Max

            I agree with you that Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation fall under the banner of “not especially dark and brooding”; I’d put Dying Fetus there too. I do actually like all three bands, though.

          • JWG’s Shifty Lateral Ventricle

            Because if it wasn’t, it might attract Bronies.

            Nobody wants that.

        • Scrimm

          Exactly.

      • Scrimm

        Agreed on this one too. I still enjoy a lot of this stuff and can appreciate the technique but I don’t get why bands see the need to bust into a sweepfest every few seconds.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    throughout the earth and history—
    love is greater than tyranny

    as the children of time –begin to open their eyes–
    ————–
    all 3 at once–1st vid muted—2nd vid 75%vol–3rd vid–75%vol
    http://youtu.be/V7676EC06oc

    http://youtu.be/iZG9NXmuCaE

    http://youtu.be/QU51jYl7yTE

  • The Satan Ov Hell

    The guitar work!

  • KJM

    (Marge Simpson groan)
    This isn’t bad, but I really hope the rest of the new album is better than the 3 songs they’ve put out there so far.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qVJP4658AQ