Not long after discovering Pentagram and Sadism, two of Chile’s finest and most important death/thrash metal bands I went on a crusade to listen to every Chilean thrash and death metal band in hopes to find more classic unknown bands. The first ones I found like Atomic Aggressor, Death Yell and Torturer were all amazing bands with very intense demos but none of them stood up to the wild Sepultura-meets-Dark Angel thrash of Apostasy on their demo ‘Fraud in the Name of God‘. The demo very much resembles the style of ‘Darkness Descends’ in it’s fastest moments but when Apostasy slows down a bit they show themselves as a very special voice in old school South American thrash. Their lyrics were occasionally anti-religious but especially centered around the corruption and hypocrisy of government; I can only suggest their English translations were at least as good as Sepultura‘s on ‘Beneath the Remains’. If the demo had a bit better production it might have given fans more of a reason to remember the band by, thankfully the next year they would release what is one of my personal favorite thrash recordings of all time.
‘Sunset of the End’ is an ambitious thrash metal tape that fills almost a full hour with everything the seasoned and jaded thrash fan wants: Variety in pacing, tons of riffs, and a flair for crafting extended and dramatic thrash songs that are both intricate and still ooze with heavy metal roughness. The vocalist has a bit of an accent but that doesn’t stop him from howling like a nutjob and giving expression and a terrifying atmosphere to the songs. His yelling and growling alongside more traditional thrash shouts gives an obscure and unique personality to the album. You’ll see him going increasingly insane in the first 20 minutes of the album before the album ‘resets’ itself for side B with “Malignant Beauty/The Great Apostasy” two instrumental tracks that help divide the album into two dramatic acts.
The final act of ‘Sunset of the End’ centers around two eight minute songs that transition from Dark Angel and Kreator style antics of side A towards ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ style intensity and a more serious, less insane angst on side B. Of course this makes sense as the lyrical subjects for these songs deal with religion and the suffering that is addiction. While I personally love how unhinged the vocalist becomes as the album progresses, I can see it becoming irritating if you aren’t well versed in the obscurities of heavy metal. The riffing starts to lean towards the Teutonic style on the final track and almost sees the band leaning towards the death/thrash of their country mates before the tape ends.
Apostasy’s one and only full-length encapsulates everything I love about thrash with it’s unrealized ambition and incredible creative energy. ‘Sunset of the End’ has it’s rough edges, it’s uncompromising brutality and thoughtful decisions about pacing and riff composition. It doesn’t flow perfectly and the sound quality is average at best for most tape conversions from the era but this album has a truly inspiring heart of darkness that I think any fan of thrash metal will understand and appreciate. If nothing else it is a lo-fi descent into madness that always feels genuine in its pursuit of world class thrash metal.
Note: Meant to post-date this for next Tuesday 11/7/17. *facepalm*
|Original Cassette Tape (YouTube)||2013 CD Reissue w/Demo Included (Bandcamp)|
Thrash Metal, Death Metal