Review: “Apechtheia” by Chestcrush

Returning to the tried and tested Ben Jones (Vacuous, Meth Leppard, Greed) for mixing and mastering, “Apechtheia” represents the dawn of a new age for Edinburgh’s Chestcrush with three tracks spanning 28 minutes representing the longest compositions envisaged and undertaken by masterminded by multi instrumentalist Evangelos Vasilakos (guitars, bass, lyrics, programming). For purpose he is accompanied by Topias Jokipii and Robin Stone as he looks to create another slab of depravity that haunts the  darkened corridors of the mind in a world in which there is no light, no hope and no fear. His reputation for fusing elements of Black Metal and Sludge into the mix to make something nightmarish and heavy precedes him so where to now oh dark lord?

The gargantuan beast arises from slumber with “Misery. Decline. Death.“, a near ten minute black hole that drags you kicking and screaming into it at the hands of a Gollum like figure. As your nails drag along the concrete floor, the only evidence of your existence is the trail of blood left by your finger tips, such is the demonstration of power that Chestcrush have prepared for you to suffer a brain haemorrhage to. New vocalist Topias Jokipii is a monster from whose throat emanates the black winds of plague during an onslaught of Blackened Death Metal of which nightmares are created. His skull splitting vocals are the work of a demon at the height of his powers, transcending the night with vicious intent while ensuring that the vocals are clean enough that you do not need a lyric sheet to comprehend what is happening as the ground trembles beneath your feet. Soaked in an equally dark and oppressive atmosphere “The Despiser” drives home the silver steaks with rolling double bass kicks from new drummer Robin Stone who brings some monstrous Igor Cavalera style fills that rattle the very bones. A dark and introspective lyrical narrative full of hatred and contemplation rises against the tide of mid tempo razor sharp riff abrasions and Sludge fuelled bass tones that capture the moment perfectly with the dull ache of feedback creating a white noise interlude before the final unveiling of “Repression“. An experimental dark and unnerving ambient soundscape, it gives the sense of floating in space while tethered to the Nostromo in the knowledge that the crew have been slaughtered by an extra-terrestrial being. Moments of occasional percussion build a sense of tension to add to the oppressive nature of it, swirling dark moods wilfully conjuring images in the minds eye as it plays out in eerie fashion and we’re left with something that belongs to a bleak horror film score. This feels like progression from “Vdelygmia” with Evangelos Vasilakos keen to explore new territories and in doing so he has brought a whole new breed of monster to life… [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. Misery. Decline. Death.
  2. The Despiser
  3. Repression

Apechtheia” by Chestcrush is out 1st November 2022 and is available over at bandcamp.

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