Titans Eve – Life Apocalypse (13 July 2012, Self-Released)
Good morning, readers!
You may have noticed that I don’t normally publish album reviews before the official release dates. Part of the reason might be because I want to share things with you when they’re actually available for you to get your hands on them, because I know how short people’s attention spans can be sometimes — myself included! Sometimes when I read about something several months before it comes out, I might think to myself, “Oh that sounds great, I’ll have to check that out” and then I completely forget about it a few days later.
More than that, though, it’s mostly because I usually just don’t get around to it. I hear about loads of great music and I want to write about all of it, because I want to make sure the bands get the exposure they deserve, and I want to make sure YOU have every opportunity to hear about the new music you want. Besides that, I try to spend as much time as possible with something before I start writing — albums usually get numerous listens on several different days, so that I feel familiar enough with the material to be able to describe it adequately AND so that I can be sure I wasn’t hearing something wrong just because I was grumpy or preoccupied on a particular day.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an unlimited amount of time for writing, which means I’m perpetually running behind. I’ve still got a bunch of albums from 2011 I haven’t even listened to yet, not to mention how much stuff I haven’t had the chance to write about!
When I heard this album full of killer thrash music by Vancouver’s Titans Eve, I knew I would want to write about it and share it with you, but then when I found out that they have pre-order packages (either the digital or CD versions) where they are throwing in a FREE t-shirt, I decided I needed to bring this to your attention sooner rather than later! This Friday (the 13th of July) is the official release date, so hurry up and finish reading, then at the end of this post you’ll get the chance to hear the album for yourself, and I’ll give you all the links you need to take advantage of this special pre-order deal.
For my Canadian friends, I’ve also provided the dates for the band’s July/August tour of western Canada with Anvil, as well as a list of stops when they will be heading east across the rest of the country with Kill Devil Hill.
Speaking of trying to get the word out as quickly as possible, it’s my understanding that the band worked very intensely and aggressively to get this material written and recorded, so that the album would be completed and available in plenty of time before the predicted end of the world in December 2012.
If they were in any sort of a hurry, it certainly doesn’t show in the final product as far as cutting corners or skimping on quality is concerned. The eleven tracks that make up Life Apocalypse are 38 rock-solid minutes, from the gloomy instrumental “Overcast” that sets the mood for the impending doomsday, until the bombastic final notes of “The Void” stop reverberating. Along the way, we encounter plenty of thrashy goodness with overtones of speed, power, and traditional heavy metal.
Instead of simply trying to copy the sound of classic thrash bands — like so many seem content to do nowadays — it feels more like Titans Eve are drawing on all the same sources of inspiration as those earlier bands did, and then creating something new with it. The modern production and recording techniques allow individual parts to shine brightly, whether it’s the churning, grinding bass part in “Destined to Die,” the lengthy series of harmonized guitar licks that serve as an intro to “Hollow Gods,” or the slow, doomy riffs that introduce “The Abyss,” but everything still retains a classic old-school feel.
Most of these songs feature a guitar solo, as you might expect — either with a single lead or twin harmonized parts — but they are never overly flashy or overdone; like the rest of the arrangements and instrumentation, they are always well-played and always fit within the context of the song. In other words, the solo is there to support the rest of the song, rather than being the main focus and having the rest of the song feeling like it was just tacked on for the purpose of supporting the solo. If that makes any sense.
This is music that seems completely appropriate for the year the world is going to end: it’s got plenty of rallying cries like in the especially aggressive and fast-paced “Divided We Fall,” while also incorporating darkness and uncertainty like in “The Abyss,” which explodes into a grim speed-metal fury following the previously-described doomy introduction.
One of the best parts of this album is its vocals: for the most part these songs consist of dark, amelodic, shouted verse vocals — in particular, songs like “Destined to Die,” “Road to Ruin,” and “Hollow Gods” seem to have a rather punky vibe that makes me think of Tom Araya‘s work on Slayer‘s raw early albums. However, many of these songs — including “Destined to Die,” “The Abyss,” and particularly “Divided We Fall” — feature built-up, multi-layered choruses with some shouted parts, but at the same time, there are these harmonic, melodic, power-metal-esque vocals hidden in the background that just add a whole new dimension and texture to the sound.
It’s hard to pick out the best songs here, since they all seem pretty strong, but definitely a personal favorite would be “Frozen in Time.” While still built on a thrashy foundation with fast drums and rhythm tracks, this song uses these huge, chunky power chords that will just reach out through the speakers and grab your head and force it to move (in the unlikely event that it wasn’t already in motion). Then on the chorus, the semi-melodic vocal line follows along with the guitar chords, and the whole thing just sounds powerful and really fucking cool.
“Frozen in Time”
But like I said, there really isn’t a weak track to be found here. If we’re all going to be destroyed in a few months anyway, throw on this record and at least we can be thrashing and grooving all the way until the end…..
You can listen to samples of the songs from Life Apocalypse via the Bandcamp widget below. The album is also currently being streamed in full at Exclaim! Magazine (here), but I don’t know how long that will be available.
Once you’re done listening, then you can head to Bandcamp where you can pre-order the digital download ($7 CAN) or the CD ($10 CAN), either of which will also include a FREE t-shirt!! But hurry, this offer only lasts as long as the pre-orders are available — so theoretically, on the release date, Friday the 13th, you’ll be out of luck!
Tour Dates w/ ANVIL:
July 30, 2012 – The Exchange – Regina, SK
July 31, 2012 – The Odeon – Saskatoon, SK
August 1, 2012 – The Scott Block – Red Deer, AB
August 2, 2012 – The Pawn Shop – Edmonton, AB
August 3, 2012 – The Distillery – Calgary, AB
August 4, 2012 – The Sapphire Lounge – Kelowna, BC
August 5, 2012 – The Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC
Tour Dates w/ KILL DEVIL HILL:
August 9, 2012 – Dicken’s Pub – Calgary, AB
August 10, 2012 – Badland Community Center – Drumheller, AB
August 11, 2012 – The Vat – Red Deer, AB
August 12, 2012 – The Pawn Shop – Edmonton, AB
August 16, 2012 – Corktown Pub – Hamilton, ON
August 17, 2012 – The Rockpile – Toronto, ON
August 18, 2012 – The Underworld – Montreal, QC
August 19, 2012 – L’Agitee – Quebec City, QC
August 20, 2012 – Mavericks – Ottawa, ON