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Apes - Penitence review




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Reviewer:
7.4

18 users:
7.28
Band: Apes
Album: Penitence
Style: Grindcore
Release date: June 2024


01. Coffin
02. The Great Fire
03. Shadow Walker
04. Closure
05. Echoes
06. Bottom Feeder
07. Penitence
08. Pillars

If Apes are really this savage, then we humans are all in big trouble, and I don't suspect they'll show any signs of Penitence towards us either.

Apes is a Canadian grindcore band established back in 2012, who following several EPs went onto release their full-length debut Lightless in 2017. Now, 7 years and another EP later, the band return once again to present their sophomore album Penitence, only this time as a 6-man band as opposed to 5, with drummer Gabriel d'Amours replacing Max Frenette, and a third additional guitarist Louis Ladouceur having joined the line-up in 2020.

Being as tough as Nails, Apes have compacted a fusion of blackened Anaal Nathrakh ferocity with hints of Trap Them and Napalm Death into this short 24-minute grindcore structure. To put it bluntly, they've cooked up an album of pure breakneck savagery, where you can expect powerful blistering bass and thunderous pounding drumming, alongside ferociously groovy twin riffs and shredding leads, accompanied by an extremely aggressive gnarly vocal performance by Alexandre Goulet in the vein of Napalm Death-era Lee Dorrian. This all begins with the appropriately titled opener "Coffin", where immediately the devastating force of the heavy instrumentation is helped along by deathly tortuous screams that give the listener a feeling of being dragged deeper into a suffocating pit of doom, whilst the crushing tone relentlessly bears down on you, giving no chance of a breather; this is a feeling that's sustained throughout the album's duration. Thank God it's only for 24 minutes, eh.

Whereas the opener feels like you're being asphyxiated inside an actual coffin where Earth seeps through the gaps the more you try to escape, "The Great Fire" tends to feel more like you're being engulfed in flames through its ultra-dense hellish atmosphere, so let's just say you're still suffocating, just in a different way. "Shadow Walker" even manages to turn the ferocity, and an already monstrously powerful tone, up a notch in frantic blackened death fashion, and from here things don't ease up; well, not until you reach a short voice over (in a German accent?) during the closing moments of "Closure", that is. However, it's not long before the fury continues once more; this is still grindcore at the end of the day, so don't expect any nice pleasant interludes or soft acoustic passages to break things up from now until the end.

The most important factor for this album is the production, which is critical, given the dense layering from three guitars playing at the same time alongside the rest of the band, plus additional noise/synths. The tracks are short, with not many passing the 3-minute mark, but there's also a hell of a lot going on in the songs despite their short lengths. Not only should a grindcore album be remembered for its aggressive energy, ferocious tempo, and crushing tone, but for containing memorable grooves as well; fortunately there are plenty of each of these things here, which from Apes's point of view, and grindcore fans alike, is all you can really ask for.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8





Written on 23.06.2024 by Feel free to share your views.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 35 users
26.06.2024 - 09:06
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
It's certainly a very disappointing year for grindcore. I haven't seen any grind release that wow-ed me.

Good review! I'll spin it just for the sake of "spinning another grind" record.
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26.06.2024 - 09:20
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Contributor
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 26.06.2024 at 09:06

It's certainly a very disappointing year for grindcore. I haven't seen any grind release that wow-ed me.

Good review! I'll spin it just for the sake of "spinning another grind" record.

I'd say this is one of the better releases in grindcore this year. It's certainly been disappointing so far.
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26.06.2024 - 11:54
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Staff
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 26.06.2024 at 09:06

It's certainly a very disappointing year for grindcore. I haven't seen any grind release that wow-ed me.

*cough* Knoll and Grind *cough*
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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26.06.2024 - 12:13
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Written by RaduP on 26.06.2024 at 11:54

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 26.06.2024 at 09:06

It's certainly a very disappointing year for grindcore. I haven't seen any grind release that wow-ed me.

*cough* Knoll and Grind *cough*

Noize and good album.

There were times when grind was locked and heavy loaded with back-to-back releases. Now making it more technical, spooning post-metal elements and noize diluted the grind essence.
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27.06.2024 - 02:17
A Real Mönkey
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 26.06.2024 at 12:13

Written by RaduP on 26.06.2024 at 11:54

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 26.06.2024 at 09:06

It's certainly a very disappointing year for grindcore. I haven't seen any grind release that wow-ed me.

*cough* Knoll and Grind *cough*

Noize and good album.

There were times when grind was locked and heavy loaded with back-to-back releases. Now making it more technical, spooning post-metal elements and noize diluted the grind essence.

Okay boomer.
----
"Change the world. My final message. Goodbye."

~Last words of Harambe, seconds before he was shot, according to child he shielded from gunfire
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