I was first made aware of AGE OF APOCALYPSE a few months ago when I came across their debut record, THE WAY. I was highly impressed by this metal- hardcore hybrid band that has that sound that hits us old LIFE OF AGONY fans just right. So, you can imagine my anticipation at getting to hear what this new record had in store for me. I have to say, I was just as impressed with their latest effort as I was with the first.
They open the record with the first track, VALLEY OF THE MYSTIC, which kicks off the record with a drum roll and a slow intro riff to help get the blood flowing before the powerful verse comes right out at you. Between singer, Dylan Kaplowicz who basically started the band and writing songs as a means of coping with the loss of his father, and the rest of the group, the sound is just so big. A great track to lead you into this piece of music. The second song, THE PATRIOT, is another heavyweight track that will get you moving. This band has such a “huge” sound that it feels like it was recorded in a coliseum, and this track fits right in with that sound. The third song, FURY, is my favorite track on this recording. More thunderous guitars from the duo in Terry Orlando and Jack Xiques, who destroy everything on this recording. Heavy chugs mixed with harmonics solidifies this band’s tight trademark sound. This song totally brings the fury to this record.
The next track, GRIM WISDOM, slows things down quite a bit. It begins with a melodic guitar riff that quickly turns heavy and then slowly picks the pace back up. More guitar harmonics that add to the heavy crunch that solidifies their place as the new kings of metal-core. They keep things moving at a slower pace with the next track, BEGGING THE REAPER. This band can remain powerful, even when they play slower, more melodic songs. Dylan’s vocals are amazing on this track. He can hit the low notes and the high notes, seamlessly. This track is quite amazing.
Next up is the sixth track, KINGDOM OF ROT, which is just a continuous display of this band’s powerful sound, which is very similar to “old school” LIFE OF AGONY. I am sure that they are maybe a bit tired of being compared to the Brooklyn quartet, but the influence is hard not to mention. GHOST (Hart Island), the next track, takes the pace up a notch and then levels you with the choruses. Another fantastic track that must be experienced for oneself!
The next song, MEMENTO, is basically a short acoustic guitar interlude that takes you right into the following track, PAIN OF CREATION. Another solid track that takes this band to new levels with those guitar riffs and harmonics. Spoken word samples and precise drumming from Will Kamerman, make this track another highlight on this record. Finally, CASUALTY OF TIME, arrives to close out the record. Keeping up the pace on the last song, bassist Joe Shannon gets to show off some of his bass riffs on this final track that ends this musical journey.
With that all said, AGE OF APOCALYPSE rules. This band is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites, and I only first heard of them a few months ago. Expect big things from them, as they have already secured their spot in the Northeast Hardcore Scene with their first release, THE WAY (2020) and a split with Long Island’s PAIN OF TRUTH.