The world has taken a battering over the last few years, but ANGELUS APATRIDA are leading the fightback.
Spain’s greatest ever exponents of forward-thinking thrash metal began their campaign at the turn of the century and have been a consistent force for heavy good ever since. From their ferocious 2006 debut album Evil Unleashed and 2010’s widely acclaimed Clockwork (the band’s first for Century Media), to more recent triumphs like 2018’s Cabaret de la Guillotine, ANGELUS APATRIDA have become increasingly unstoppable. In 2023, they release Aftermath: a vicious and vital response to the chaos we see all around us.
Like everyone else, ANGELUS APATRIDA did have to negotiate the restrictions and frustrations of the Covid pandemic. With touring plans for 2020 cancelled, they simply switched their focus to the creative process. The result was Angelus Apatrida, a self-titled record that sought to redefine its creators’ era-blending sound, with renewed intensity and uproarious lyrical sensibilities that dug deep into the realities of the modern world. Climbing to the top of the official album charts in Spain at # 1 as well as marking the band’s first ever chart entries in Germany at # 49 and Switzerland at # 41 upon release in 2021, the album showcased a band at the peak of their powers. Understandably, ANGELUS APATRIDA were absolutely itching to get back on the road, which they eventually did with a vengeance.
“We started doing some shows trying to keep things going until the summer of 2021, and then at the end of the year we were able to do some important venues and festivals”, recalls guitarist/vocalist Guillermo Izquierdo. “We spent 2022 and 2023 touring, mostly in Europe and North America. We’ve played Hellfest, Graspop, Dynamo, Resurrection Fest, Rock Fest and Leyendas del Rock, and we did our first headlining tour in the US and Canada. In February 2023 we did the last four dates of the tour in Spain with four total sell outs!”.
Clearly one of the hardest-working bands in metal, ANGELUS APATRIDA were not content with simply returning to the live arena. Even as they toured, work on their next album began. Pre-production for Aftermath was finished in March 2023, and the band swiftly hit the studio in their hometown of Albacete, once again collaborating with trusted live and studio engineer Juanan López on the capturing of these new metal explosions. The finished tracks were then sent to the legendary Zeuss (Rob Zombie/Overkill/Hatebreed) at Planet-Z in Wilbraham, Massachusetts and polished to a devastating sheen. The results speak for themselves: Aftermath is titanium-plated modern thrash of the highest order.
“Every time we sit down and write new music, we try to do the best we can and to put all the new things and experiences we had over the last few years into the mix”, says Guillermo. “The new songs are pure ANGELUS APATRIDA. They’ve got every single essence of the band. There are many songs containing more personal feelings than on previous records. We’re going deep into our souls and feelings sometimes. Since we are living strange, difficult and dark times, we liked the concept of an aftermath. After everything that has happened since 2020 and is still happening in the world, in our society, and in our lives, a lot of strong feelings have come through in the music and lyrics”.
Aftermath is undoubtedly the most heartfelt and powerful record in ANGELUS APATRIDA’s illustrious history, but it’s also one of the heaviest and most direct. From the neck-wrecking adrenalin rush of opener Scavenger to the dark might of the closing Vultures And Butterflies, the Spanish quartet’s eighth studio record displays the songwriting muscle and playing prowess of bands like Metallica, Testament and Pantera, while still delivering a huge, jolting dose of ANGELUS APATRIDA’s distinctive trademark attack.
“We can describe Aftermath as what METAL means to us”, Guillermo states. “It contains the best songs we ever written. It is just very difficult to pick just one or two highlights on this album since every single track could be a single itself”.
Confirming their sturdy reputation in the global metal scene, ANGELUS APATRIDA invited some heavyweight figures to add their talents to Aftermath. Hatebreed’s iconic frontman Jamey Jasta lends his caustic bark to Snob, while Queensrÿche vocalist Todd La Torre lends his spectacular tones to Vultures And Butterflies. Elsewhere, Pablo Garcia, guitarist with Spanish power metal legends Warcry, does his virtuoso thing on the incendiary Fire Eyes, and Spanish rap star Sho-Hai brings the noise on the brooding What Kills Us All.
With no need to regain momentum, ANGELUS APATRIDA are more ready than most to let rip again in 2023. Aftermath marks a pinnacle in this band’s determined and always fruitful career. It’s a defiant, uplifting and resolutely metal-as-fuck response to an era defined by chaos and fear. It’s the sound of ANGELUS APATRIDA, doing what they do, but bigger, better, louder and with more passion than ever.
“As soon as the album is released, we are starting a HUGE live campaign”, concludes Guillermo. “We start with a big European tour that will cover most of the mainland and the UK, and we are already working on getting back to Oceania and Asia, Latin America and making our return to the United States and Canada during the first half of 2024. Expect a great live festival season for summer 2024 and more tours! We’re coming!”.