Review: “Into Madness” by Apogean

Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Canada are Apogean, a five piece Technical Death Metal band who have chosen to make their debut with a concept release. Citing inspiration from their forebearers in bands like The Faceless, The Contortionist and Fallujah, “Into Madness” promises the story of the fall from the heights of sanity, to the very depths of madness and all that can be experienced on this journey. The desire to take the listener on this path of knowledge, loss and resurgence over the duration of five cuts mixed and mastered by Zach Ohren (Entheos, Machine Head).

In order to help them achieve their vision of a journey to hell and back Apogean have been assisted by a quartet of guests to provide additional orchestral elements and guitar solos which perhaps provides an insight into how grand their vision has been despite this being their first EP. What Apogean have with “Into Madness” is create phycological horror film score that would M. Night Shyamalan or  Guillermo del Toro would turn into a cult classic. Michael McConnell’s dry raspy vocals are permeated by deeper growls as he creates different voices, the call and response over sinister piano work on “Chrono” being as evil as it is fun. Each cut is a multilayered technical affair with each musician shining thanks to little pockets and trade offs with moments within each track. Drummer Jacob Wagner brings gallop, blast beats and jackhammer footwork to “Pale Moon” which has a haunting drop off into a whisper rising to a scream as McConnell calls all th creatures of the night out from the shadows. For a track this heavy to incorporate a couple of melodic moments and carry them off in a way that doesn’t destoy the energy of the music or flow of the record is testament to how good these musicians are and demonstrating that it’s not just flash in the pan with follow up “Through Vast Existence” serves to enhance the bands reputation no end. The solos and leads throughout are well placed and fuel the fire of the bands towering inferno as the journey unfolds with so many moments that you will keep coming back to this for more and hear something different each time. You can hear the bands cited influences as well, with  “Vacuous” for example having Scott Carstairs influence written all over it. As a cut it has a breathtaking beauty to it, an almost ethereal quality as well as being highly energised with  McConnell’s sanity questioning vocals being the icing on the cake. Full of ideas and inspiration, Apogean have made their presence felt and given the opportunity they could easily be around for decades to come [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Into Madness
  2. Chrono
  3. Pale Moon
  4. Through Vast Existence
  5. Vacuous

Into Madness” by Apogean is out now via Blood Blast Distribution and available over at bandcamp

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