Atræ Bilis – Apexapien

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Canadian death metal act Atræ Bilis launched its first studio album “Apexapien” on October 8th via 20 Buck Spin, returning almost one year after the release of their debut EP “Divinhility”. The hybrid line-up is comprised of multinational musicians from Canada, Serbia, and Australia such as Brendan Campbell on bass guitar, Jordan Berglund on vocals, Luka Govednik (ex-May Result) on drums, and David Stepanavicius on guitars. Atræ Bilis tackles the modern technical style of death metal where the guitars exploit chunky riffs, dissonance as well as groove. In just under thirty-three minutes, the accessible composition of death metal brutality is compact with energy. “Apexapien” holds like a block of concrete by the cohesive force of the members who excelled in their ability to craft an energetic slab of technique and brutality, with all the aural experience rolled into one. Atræ Bilis managed to transform its conceptual ideas into an organized set of songs.  

With only seven tracks and an instrumental opener, the texture of the songs range from dense riffing, and technicality fueled by sheer brutality. The double bass and the blast beats are all over the place and act as a crushing machine, while the guitar department brings plenty of stomping riffs that make the tempo so engaging. Each of these songs display the musical prowess in a sonic venture of whirlwinds, riffs are meaty but somehow sound refined. With the robust drumming, the breakdowns are backed by heavy guitar chugging and there is no moment where you will find yourself at ease. “Apexapien” forges its own sound separate from Canadian peers, in all the chaos and the sonic blasts Atræ Bilis triggers grooves into the tempo while the drums relentlessly strike and the guitars swagger in its technical innovation.

The opening track “Theta” is a dense slab of bold technicality propelled by kinetic drum blows. The cacophonous dissonance and ear-splitting riffs on following track “Lore Beyond Bone” bring a real dynamic to the driving grooves that allows the pacing to move with fluidity. The album has a robust scale of chunkiness judging from the swift drumming impulses, drummer Luka Govednik delivers some of the best work in his career. Most of the songs are played at relentless speed and though the musicianship is organic, there are plenty of dark rhythms that keep the songs balanced through various elements. 

Atræ Bilis‘s latest endeavor cements their sound in the genre. The shrewd sense of musicality manages to introduce a unique composition of their own. Next is “By The Hierophant’s Maw” which blasts off with machine-gun-like drums and the guitars sound absolutely volatile and enormously charged with power chords. Production-wise “Apexapien” has an excellent sound quality; despite the explosive drum beats, every instrument, including the vocals, is brought to balance. The solid foundation of the song structure is fitted to combine some slow rhythmic patterns. The guitars inject the right dosage of brutality into the song “Open the Effigy”, which provides a remarkable method to technical death metal. Amidst the sheer grooving of the guitars, the drums provide the right pacing to the songs. “Apexapien” shows the real ability of these enthusiasts, the bass lines are also audible. “Bacterium Abloom” brings something incredibly brutal. The monstrous vocal delivery and the riffing are played intensely fast.

While he band shows its talent to create a tenebrous atmosphere, there is a subtle touch of melodies that add an extra layer to the brooding ambiance. In these moments when the guitars create an atmospheric scale, they capture the epic feel of the album. On “Into the Seas of Sepsis” the guitars churn out mammoth-sized riffs and while the drums continue the onslaught, the quartet avoids any fillers which is one of the appealing features of “Apexapien”. “Hymn of the Flies” and the final track “To Entomb the Aetherworld” mixes dissonance, dark rhythm, and blast beats. 

Atræ Bilis has constructed an evil-sounding death metal album where the songs shift with such agility without compromising the technical aspect of the album. As in whole “Apexapien” is a brutal album that displays binary formula in which the guitars thrive on a range of contrasting atmospheric effects and uncompromising brutality. This is a worthy album and a must-have for fans of technical death metal. 

Release Date: October 8th, 2021
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Tracklist:

  1. Theta
  2. Lore Beyond Bone
  3. By The Heirophant’s Maw
  4. Open The Effigy
  5. Bacterium Abloom
  6. In The Seas Of Sepsis
  7. Hymn Of The Flies
  8. To Entomb The Aetherworld

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music8/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics8/10
  • Production8/10
  • Artwork8/10
  • Originality8/10
8“Apexapien” is a brutal album that displays binary formula in which the guitars thrive on a range of contrasting atmospheric effects and uncompromising brutality. This is a worthy album and a must-have for fans of technical death metal.
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