The Spanish four pieces first release is a wonderfully accessible one. Conquerors beyond the Stars sits somewhere slap bang in the middle between both generic and extreme metal, possessing the infectious riffs of bands like Devildriver and Machine Head with the intense and sinister sounds of old school giants such as Sepultura and Morbid Angel.
Apontokation are clearly a band who love their weird and wonderful intros, with opening track A Wisp of Misanthropy, Carnivorous Customisation, Ancient Visions and The Enemy all having their very own unique sounding openings. These ranging from the epic, Nile-esque emphatic style or simply employing macabre, horror film scores, it’s safe to say that Apontokation like to create a hefty dose of atmosphere in every track.
Switching rapidly between death metal and thrash, Conquerors beyond the Stars has plenty of guaranteed head banging anthems in its arsenal, especially Dark Thrones, a song with enough furious fretwork in it to more than satisfy the guitar fanatics out there. For those who prefer pitting like a lunatic, fear not, as Absolution through the Mayhem is one fearsome, knock out of a track. Roaring into action with your stereotypical speedy thrash opening, this track is a speedy little atmospheric number with a monstrous solo thrown in too for good measure. The albums closing track, Absolution through the Mayhem (feat. Darkyrie) follows a very similar process, with an explosive opening, killer riffs and another potent solo.
One listen of Conquerors beyond the Stars proves that guitarist Patxi has nailed the art of creating a delightfully infectious riff. Both Carnivorous Customisation and Human Chaos are packed full of catchy hooks that are an essential element to creating the perfect death/thrash album. Both tracks are strong contenders for the albums top track, possessing both chilling and atmospheric qualities as well as pure, unadulterated heavy metal.
Conquerors beyond the Stars is quite the triumphant debut full length release. The band have managed to masterfully splice together death and thrash metal and throw in some menacing atmospheric elements to the album too. Having one foot firmly in both the mainstream and the extreme metal camps, Apontokation’s sound is easily accessible to a wide variety of metal fans and has something to offer everyone. The album is by no means a ground breaking debut, but it’s definitely a rich and entertaining listen from start to finish. Apontokation are a band for all to keep their eyes peeled for from this moment onwards.
(7/10 Eilish Foxen)