Label: Fallen Temple
Date: May 14th, 2021
It took me a while to figure out just which Apostasy this is. As it turns out, this is one of the first, brought to life three decades ago in Chile. However, two of these decades were spent in hibernation, so talk of much activity is out of the question here. Still, as I can see, there is some fine reputation behind the name.
Talk about old school as a prefix to the genre is unnecessary on this occasion. It is quite natural for a band whose inception dates back to the end of the 1980’s. Especially down in South America. Naming a genre to stand after the old school denominator is also not a difficult task. Once again, if you have any knowledge of the early Chilean (or South American in general) scene.
Apostasy bears the torch of primal death thrashing metal. With a note that they take influences from all over the place. South or North America, or even Europe. There’s also a layer of black metal hidden within (not to mention the “doomy” elements in the closing track), so extreme metal can be a good explanation for “Death Return”.
Now, don’t be intimidated if you are not too big of a fan of filthy metal usually coming from South America. Apostasy steers clear of such. At least on this release. I’m not familiar with their previous work, but this one is far above these connotations. Mostly because of the pretty clean production work. I would even go as far as saying they’ve overdone it a bit. It’s just a bit under the modern German thrash metal, crystal clear productions. Sounds to me as if “Death Return” could’ve used a bit of dirt.
But never mind that. It’s the music that counts the most. In that regard, the Chileans are far more technically evolved than most of their countrymen. Call it years of experience and natural progress, or just well-thought through creation, but “Death Return” remains a neatly crafted record that keeps to the brutal side of music, while not straying into mindless cruelty to the instruments.
Don’t get me wrong, Apostasy is nowhere near any of those “million riffs per minute” type of bands. As a matter of fact, their riffing is just not driven by sheer savagery. Guitar work is creative enough to not be boring or following the expected patterns. Apostasy is not original by any means, but they are most certainly not a useless clone either. You did not hear these parts or arrangement solutions many times before.
The question remains if “Death Return” has what it takes to make a deeper impact on the scene. It definitely has a strong label to support it, but I get the feeling that the music itself is just not catchy enough. Sure, it is good enough for a strong headbanging session. The old school ears will bleed, no issue with that. However, I cannot quite put my life on the line that this record will be the one I will return to. It has given me a couple of very pleasant hours while listening and examining it, but I’m afraid it is doomed to be “shelved”.
But who knows. Perhaps there are old school maniacs out there who will praise it to high heavens. Well, not high heavens, but you know what I mean. Try it and make up your own mind.