Century Media
rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Scavenger
02. Cold
03. Snob (feat. Jamey Jasta)
04. Fire Eyes (feat. Pablo Garcia)
05. Rats
06. To Whom It May Concern
07. Gernika
08. I Am Hatred
09. What Kills Us All (feat. Sho-Hai)
10. Vultures And Butterflies (feat. Todd La Torre)
11. Indoctrinate (live bonus track)
12. Give 'Em War (live bonus track)

When you're on a roll, keep rolling. ANGELUS APATRIDA made a ferocious statement on their last studio record. That self-titled 2021 effort was a venomous response to the state of things that rejuvenated the Spaniards' sound and pushed them to new levels of songwriting suss and brutal precision. Given that it was self-titled, one might reasonably expect it to be the definitive ANGELUS APATRIDA album, but two years on, there is another contender to consider.

Once again inspired by world events and humanity's role in the chaos, "Aftermath" is a serious thrash metal odyssey, with just as much laser-focused vitriol as its predecessor, but also with much evidence that frontman/guitarist Guillermo Izquierdo and his comrades have refined their sound even further. What emerges is a ten-song master class in modern thrash, with all the old-school viciousness and cutting-edge crunch that such a noble endeavor entails. Long-time producer Juanan López knows ANGELUS APATRIDA inside out, and his big, detailed production is perfect for songs like rabid opener "Scavenger". If the last album proclaimed a return to maximum aggression, that ethos has rolled over to "Aftermath", but with an even greater emphasis on anthemic choruses.

"Scavenger" is as punishing as anything in the quartet's canon, but it also has huge, authoritative hooks and breathtakingly deft changes of pace and groove. "Cold" is another gleaming thrash basher, touched by the skeletal specter of SLAYER but underpinned by death metal discord, and with a colossal, widescreen chorus melody that rises majestically from the machine-gun maelstrom. Then, without warning, ANGELUS APATRIDA drop one of the nastiest metallic hardcore beatdowns in living memory, just for the old-school Hell of it.

Similarly, "Snob" features HATEBREED's Jamey Jasta in beast mode, bellowing defiance over some laudably thuggish crossover riffs. It's a righteous meeting of minds, and another skillful hybrid of thrash and hardcore strains. Elsewhere, the balance between all-out thrash and grown-up songwriting is deftly maintained. "What Kills Us All", a collaboration with Zaragoza rap star Sho-Hai, is a clever nod to more modern notions of heavy music that still sits neatly in this band's wheelhouse. "Rats" is ruthlessly precise and melodically askew, and a sublime equal split between MEGADETH-style technicality and hardcore's stripped down pummeling.

QUEENSRYCHE frontman Todd La Torre lends his immaculate wail to ornate prog metal ballad "Vultures And Butterflies", while "To Whom It May Concern" is an explosive, nine-minute epic with a KILLSWITCH-catchy core refrain and perverse twists and turns, in and out of old-school territory, and echoing everything from OZZY to MACHINE HEAD along the way.

Again, this is serious thrash penned by serious songwriters who know their strengths and play like absolute demons. "Aftermath" is a heavyweight record for the heaviest of times, and another fearless stride forward for Spain's finest. Meanwhile, bonus live versions of "Indoctrinate" (from "Angelus Apatrida") and "Give 'Em War" (from the 2007 album of the same name) confirm that ANGELUS APATRIDA are the real, red-blooded, fire-breathing deal.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).