Lets see what we have here: tribal, sacrificial, anarchy, apocalyptic, screaming and the sound of blood splattering on the nearby temple walls and a literal translation of cannibal. This can only mean one thing; its time to slice open a chest and tear our a heart to give to the bloody thirsty and soul hungry gods. This album is a very unusual one; the connection to the Mayan/Aztec time is a very interesting theme and basis for an album. Creating such a vivid imagery with the music, it’s amazing and pleasantly disturbing it makes you grin and relax.
The metal and vocals are more than a perfect combination in this album. The brutality of these components makes all the pent up energy inside of you emerge and erupt like the gods would have made the volcanos do when the sacrifice wasn’t enough to appease them and wreak havoc upon the innocent. The beginning of The Mayan Disaster screams literally horror, fear and the despair in the voices of the tribal disciples in the blood soaked wastelands that have been left barren from the destruction. The end of Ruthless Nation Perished is a truly terrifying and haunting end as its no longer just slaughter and brutality your hearing, it’s a child possessed worshiping and blessing their sacrifice with the harmonic vocal melody in the background.
Never the less it’s not all about the vocals, there are some incredible guitar riffs and an incredible solo in Mantra Solar Eclipse which I can say I’ve never heard before. It’s almost as if the guitar became a siren that is more than in line with the absolute panic of the incomprehension the people felt due to an eclipse. I can imagine the skilled riff where from the very talented fingers of Eko Aryo Widodo and Rico Zerico and that their playing has not gone un-noticed in the album. The vocalist Pandu Herlambang has totally obliterated all expectations with his voice and must have put his vocal cords through years of training to reach such a level of brutality in his lyrics. It’s a true delight to listen to. I can’t forget the percussion though and the way Cahyono Hari Wijayanto and Sahrul Ramadhan composed the drum and bass aspect and kept the best in the tracks. This takes precision and flawless execution which was exacted in every track no matter how complex it became.
I can’t help but be overwhelmed with admiration for the artists, not just for their talent but also for their honesty to be themselves. Whilst also causing a revelation for long dormant Gods from the ancient civilisations to become ruthless rulers again and the land run red with the blood of the pure and helpless. Not many artists would go down a path like this of a long untouched festering time but the intoxicating brutal metal is infectious and over powering with raw energy. These Indonesian artists deserve more recognition that I could ever give them for creating a death metal album about the putrid times of sacrificing your community to avoid the punishment from the gods who knew no bounds to pain and suffering. This gives us the images of the flesh pealing away from the muscle that in still attached to the human carcase by a single tendon and the temple steps coated in congealed blood and maggots emerging from the bodies and the crows pecking out the eyes of the deceased and for the music and the imagery is going to be at 8/10 from me. Truly a beautiful album.
Words: Zoe Stone
Apocalypto is out now.
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