For Fans Of
Our illustrious editor Alex Sievers posted an article earlier this month in which he basically labelled Brisbane’s Apate as being “not shit anymore” due to their single, ‘Split’. While that does sound exceedingly harsh, personally, I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the Queensland band’s previous EP, ‘Pandora’s Box’, either. The production was, shall we say, ‘a little bit shit’, and overall, the songs themselves didn’t strike me as being overly memorable either. It wasn’t the worst thing I’d heard from this current metalcore-nu-metal crossover sound, but I wasn’t rushing out to listen to it again. However, with their new EP ‘Spit You Out’, I’m rather happy to report that there have been some major improvements!
Of course, sample heavy nu-metalcore is the sole order of the day for these boys. The EP’s first song, ‘Fugue’, is just a brief intro track, but it blends well into the heavy-hitting ‘Bone Syndrome’. We’re definitely not lacking in the breakdown department on ‘Bone Syndrome’ (especially with that ending section, my god) nor this EP as a whole, but the effected guitar lines present really keep the song from being a monotonous affair. As for the aforementioned ‘Split’, we have a suspenseful atmospheric intro that combines samples with a solid drum/bass build up, and then it just drops into one vile groove section; a delivery that Apate excels at. The mid-section of this track brings back the intro’s minimal, suspenseful feel with vocalist Zakk Ludwig utilising some whispered vocals over a crunchy bass line that evoke Deftones’s Chino Moreno in my mind. After a faster rhythm section, it’s back to dropping another massive, sample heavy breakdown. While this isn’t exactly anything new for nu-metalcore (I’m still coming to terms with that sub-genre being a real thing – it just sounds made up), it’s used to great effect here; something that you could say for Apate as a whole on this EP.
‘Hangman’ is on the shorter side of things at just passing the two-minute mark, using a slick natural harmonic guitar driven intro well enough. The way that this song leads into the title track by fading out the instrumentation with a heavy filter than having the eponymous track’s guitars and drums hit as one is pretty impactful… even if the ever so slight tempo jump is noticeable. Irrespective of which, ‘Spit You Out’ is easily one of my favourite tracks on the whole EP. The clean vocals provided on the chorus from guitarist Caleb Patch, again, have a very strong Deftones feel about them and they serve the song well. This cleaner vocal style is used again as a closer to the track as well, in creating a much greater effect no less, but they never really detract from how heavy Apate sound.
Second-to-last track, ‘Jackal’ is indeed more of the same overall, but it’s undeniably a heavier offering than the previous track. If that’s somehow possible, by this point. In fact, the whammy pedal breaks combined with the huge breakdown in the middle of the song makes for one the heaviest parts on the whole goddamn EP. Now, notice how I said one of? That’s because that full, final honour is one that I’ll bestow upon the closing song, ‘Bitter Pill’. This closer is as slow, brooding and moody as anything, and it’s final minute – what with screeching guitars layered over the top of an earth-shattering breakdown – makes for the most insanely heavy moment of ‘Spit You Out‘. If you’re looking for the perfect songs to mosh and crowd kill too, you’ve come to the right EP!
The production here also marks a huge step up for Apate as well. I always felt that their previous work needed higher production values and more polish to the mix department, but such an improvement shows in the sonic quality of ‘Spit You Out’. It’s hard to make guitars cut through well when they’re tuned low, and when you’re in what is essentially a bass tuning (drop D down a full octave, full Black Tongue style, it can even more difficult. And yet, Skull and Bones Records engineer Dan Field and mix and master engineer Cody Stewart have found a way to do just that here; creating a clearer, cleaner yet still punchy foothold for Apate to easily work off from. Because brutality by itself is great, but it’s even better when it sounds crisp and tight.
While it’s undeniably a breakdown-laden nu-metal/metalcore EP, ‘Spit You Out’ is a huge step up for Apate. This could very well be the release that changes the perception of this local band and make people realize just how bloody solid they are. Having recently seen them in a live setting when they rolled through Melbourne recently, I can tell you without a doubt that these new songs translate very well live. I’ll be very interested to see where Apate are in the coming year because if all goes well, this EP will be the true turning point for their future trajectory.
- Bone Syndrome
- Spit You Out
- Bitter Pill
‘Spit You Out’ is available now. Pick it up here.