Thursday 11th September 2008
Metal / Progressive / Death Metal
“Progressive metal for the masses!”
Lead Guitars: Stefan
Rhythm Guitars: Mark
I come from the planet Zog myself. But my new friends are from Barrachus (part of the United Colonies Alliance) and are members of a secretive order of spiritual warriors known as The Apex of Extinction. They are also a symphonic power metal band incorporating more growling vocals than one would normally expect from the likes of ‘Dragonforce’ or ‘Angra’. The Power metal guitarists and the bassist play rapid streams of notes and lead guitarist Stefan is an accomplished proponent of this dark art.
Played at immense speed (see ‘Savage Circus’ to get an idea) with
melodic hooks and a symphonic structure to be proud of. AofE also incorporate superb basss tonal imagery and rapid fire percussive effects into their epic soundscapes. The limitations of Apex are quite clear. The vocals are not fully cohesive within the overall structure of the musical elements. Whilst the guttural growls are useful in certain settings the lead vocals in this kind of band really need to be sufficiently flexible to increase range and to support the breathtaking depths of ambition that this genre sets itself. If you listen to the power vocals of a band like ‘Raphsody of Fire’ or even local prog-metallists like’Hollow Limit’ or even ‘Hypercoma’ you will find a greater flexibility and range in the vocals.
All the shred techniques one would expect from a grandiose band like this were present when I saw Apex of Extinction at the Hob, Staines. The sweep-picking, the trills and the speed building were effusive and the compositions were fully developed landscapes of sound. The cluster of images and the thrill of the drama unfolding was one of the most enjoyable aspects of this young group. Perhaps Springfield melodic death metal group ‘All That Remains’ is more similar to the profile of ‘Apex’ than ‘Dragonforce’ or ‘Angra’ and I may be partly guilty of overlooking quite what they are hoping to achieve… That said, even Phil Labonte’s vocals are harmonious when needed and are well suited to the epic nature of the working material.
Apex of Extinction are a ‘work in progress’ with bags of enthusiasm and a fair dose of talent. I have some great expectations. One to watch develop.
Lads, give my regards to the planet Barrachus and keep up the good work.
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