(Austin Weber reviews the debut album by Apocrophex from New Jersey, which is being released on March 10.)
They say variety is the spice of life, but in a musical context, it’s how you arrange that variety and spice that makes the difference between music that’s merely a rehash and something that’s varying degrees of remarkable.
Instead of mixing all their influences into one singular synthesis dispersed in the same manner across every song, as many derivative tech-death bands do, Apocrophex shift between countless styles and technical death metal influences in separate contrasting passages and songs. In isolation, this can make some moments come across as too obviously close to their influences and thus seem weaker, but when taken as a whole in terms of how the music is constructed, Suspended From the Cosmic Altaar is very interesting and varied for technical death metal. And that’s especially when you consider that this is the band’s debut album, coming very soon after their initial two-song EP, Wheels Within Wheels (which I wrote about last year here at NCS).