Apostate – Λ ♦ Λ ♦ Ø EP (2012)

After releasing an incredible debut EP (Seaborne) in 2010 that showed a lot of potential, Apostate is set to release their second EP entitled Λ ♦ Λ ♦ Ø on August 3rd. Λ ♦ Λ ♦ Ø is an EP that does more than enough to prove that this five-piece progressive metalcore band from Prague, Czech Republic is the real deal.

Spanning just under 22 minutes, Λ ♦ Λ ♦ Ø is a musical journey that makes a few stops over the course of its expedition. The guitarists are some of the most talented gentleman in the genre, as is the drummer. From what I can hear, the bassist is also extremely talented and his part adds a bit more of a punch to the EP.

Vocally and lyrically, the EP is nearly on the same level as the instruments. The following lyric, my favourite on the EP, is taken from the second track, “The People”. “I still can’t get it/I still don’t know why after all these years we still need someone to suffer for our mistakes in the name of our future, like they haven’t paid enough in the past for us in the present”. The vocalist delivers these lyrics with a dynamic tone which makes them even more powerful. There are several other meaningful lyrics heard on the EP, but for the sake of not making this review seem like an essay, I will refrain from quoting anything else. Whether it be the breathtaking tapping bits heard on “The People” or the sensational shredding on “The Rupture”, you can expect to hear a copious amount of soaring guitar leads and solos throughout the EP. If I had to pick a personal favourite song on the EP, I would say that “The Rupture” is the strongest track for the aforementioned reason.

The other aspects of the EP that I found to be spectacular were the soundclips and ambient passages. Λ ♦ Λ ♦ Ø opens with a track titled “The Road” which features a soundclip with a violin and piano heard in the background. As the song progresses, the guitars and drums come into play, and the vocals are soon to follow. “The Road” slowly-but effectively-builds up to the second track, “The People”. The next instance of ambience is heard on the third track, “The Speech”.

Much like my previous review (A Tragedy In Progress – Mechanical Weather), Apostate chose to use a portion of Charlie Chaplin’s famous quote taken from The Great Dictator. Throughout “The Speech”, the guitarists of Apostate display their conglomeration of sounds by leisurely playing beautiful and calming melodies. Perhaps the best example of ambience is heard on the final track, though. The majority of  “The Town” is very calming and it builds up to an epic climax near the close of the EP.

The only gripe that I have with Λ ♦ Λ ♦ Ø is a very minor one; the cleans on “The People”. While they don’t sound awful in the least, I think they could have been executed a little bit better.

If you’re looking for a band that packs melody, passion, and ambience into their tunes while maintaining their heaviness, Apostate is most likely the exact band that you’ve been searching for. Seaborne was a spectacular EP, but Λ ♦ Λ ♦ Ø shows that the band has progressed a lot in the past year or two, and I’m very excited to see what they come up with next. I have my fingers crossed for a full-length album!

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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews