Review 2106 : Apogean – Cyberstrictive – English

Apogean unveils its debut album.

Following their debut EP, the Canadian band has undergone a number of changes. Dexter Forbes (guitar), Jacob Wagner (drums) and Robert Tam (bass) welcomed Mac Smith (vocals, Hammer of Dawn, ex-Krosis) and Jack Post (guitar) to create Cyberstrictive, released in 2024 by The Artisan Era.

Some guitar parts were recorded by Gabriel Silva Castro before he left the band.

Bluelight Sonata opens the album with a massive sound, complemented by a complex jerky approach and overpowering screams, which still allow for a certain eerie melodicity at times. The oppressive final finally allows us to catch our breath before Thousand-Yard Glare follows with comparable firepower, but also crushing elements such as the various moshparts that punctuate the track. Sharp harmonics are also to be found, as on Distance (Of Walls and Wails), where keyboards and other cybernetic effects create a menacing atmosphere, a feeling reinforced by the Prog elements that chop up the rhythm before we move on to With Which Ear You’ll Listen, which opens with a wave of intense rage, followed by a catchy groove always framed by blasts and shattering riffs. The rest of the track is no slouch, displaying ever greater mastery and violence before Imposter Reborn takes over, allowing us a few moments of wavering, quickly crushed by the return of the power. Within the Bounds of a Simile then asserts itself with a frantic rhythm packed with piercing leads and savage vocal parts, but also a surprisingly soothing break before the band tramples us once more, leading us to Hueman (The Pleasure of Burn) and its gentle introduction, quickly followed by a catchy rhythm filled with explosions of fury. The band takes a more mysterious direction with Polybius, a rather short composition that places ominous leads between two surges, then Spinthariscope returns to their chaotic yet structured approach, broken in two by a moment of futuristic floating where only the bass stands up to the sample before the other instruments take their place again. The soaring final coincides perfectly with the opening moments of An(t)imus, the final composition, where the musicians resume their imposing patterns while also including eerie elements in the background that lead us right up to the explosions before letting the gentleness wash over us.

There’s no doubt that all Apogean‘s musicians are of an excellent standard, enabling them to make Cyberstrictive an incredibly rich and polished album. The final is surprising, but the powerful slap in the face is memorable!


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