Spain’s ANGELUS APATRIDA aren’t an ordinary thrash outfit. They’re as influenced by Bay Area greats and the terrible German troika as they are the many faces of death metal and The New Wave of British Heavy Metal. These cross-cultural, pan-generational inspirations have had a significant impact on the Albacete-based quartet. Throughout their career, starting with 2006’s Evil Unleashed to new album Cabaret de la Guillotine, the Spaniards have been inspired by but have always created something new out of their favorite bands. On Cabaret de la Guillotine, ANGELUS APATRIDA shape the future of thrash metal.
Masterpieces aren’t completed in the blink of an eye. ANGELUS APATRIDA spent the entirety of 2017 expanding upon and refining the material that would comprise Cabaret de la Guillotine. The two years prior were spent on the road supporting previous album, Hidden Evolution, where regions and continents like Latin America, Europe, Australia, and Asia were exposed to and are now full-on proponents of ANGELUS APATRIDA’s high-velocity thrash metal gospel. That vocalist/guitarist Guillermo Izquierdo likens all experiences as new beginnings is no wonder Cabaret de la Guillotine is as razor-sharp as it is diverse.
“I started listening rock music around 25 years ago—when I was 8,” says ANGELUS APATRIDA’s Izquierdo. “Same as the rest of the band. Our main influences have always been bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, and Pantera. But we never close our minds to new influences. If we try and we like new music, then they will definitely be part of what we do. We are doing the best we can on every album. We never stop learning new things. So, that’s why Cabaret de la Guillotine is so diverse and rich. Music is our passion.”
Written by the band over most of 2017, Cabaret de la Guillotine was the result of bursts of creative energy and long bouts of toughing it out. Some songs—like “Sharpen the Guillotine,” “The Hum,” and “One of Us”—unfurled in full naturally, while others—“Betrayed,” “Ministry of God,” and “Witching Hour”—took longer to complete. Izquierdo and the rest of ANGELUS APATRIDA didn’t fret the hard stuff though. They’ve had lots of experience over the course of five previous albums. By not forcing the material for Cabaret de la Guillotine, the group came up with their strongest material to date. Songs like “Ministry of God,” “Downfall of the Nation” and “Farewell” are the group’s early favorites.
“It always depends on the day and the song,” Izquierdo states. “Normally, we pass through a period where we’re not very creative. It could be weeks or months. Then, suddenly, we can write full songs out of nowhere. Inspiration is a funny thing. We’ll take those full songs and refine them. When that happens, it’s exciting for us. When we have a full song that just needs a little work. Songwriting is very hard but, of course, very satisfactory in the end. Writing for Cabaret de la Guillotine was no different.”
Conceptually, Cabaret de la Guillotine, as well as the five albums before it, come from Izquierdo’s exposure to and experiences with daily life, observations, cultural interests, media, and his Spanish heritage. While Cabaret de la Guillotine specifically references the gruesome French act of snacking on hors d'oeuvres at restaurant—named the Cabaret de la Guillotine—while watching their countrymen be decapitated, there’s a more personal, country-specific side to ANGELUS APATRIDA lyrical view.
“We love Spain,” says Izquierdo. “We do love our fellow Spaniards, and, of course, some of the best artists in the world were born in Spain, but all the influence I get for writing lyrics is about, sadly, bad things such as dictatorship, injustice, fascism, corruption, the sadness and poorness we feel about how this beautiful country can’t be what it deserves to be. Nowadays, for example, we have one of the strictest laws in the world called ‘gag law,’ officially ‘law on public security.’ We must be very careful with what we say, sing, write, or wear on the clothes. A lot of people have already faced big fines and even criminal sentences, because of what they wrote on social media, sang, or wore on a t-shirt. We are even worse off than 79 years ago when murderer fascist dictator Franco took over the country and started the darkest times of Spain. This is continued through today, a false and corrupt transition. I feel patriotic, I love Spain, but my Spain died in 1939. We could be the vanguard of Europe, culturally, politically, and socially. But I won’t throw in the towel yet. There’s still hope for a better world.”
Over the last 18 years, the members of ANGELUS APATRIDA have developed sufficient skills to see a professional recording session through. That’s precisely what the group did on Cabaret de la Guillotine. Recorded and produced at their home studio in Albacete over a two-month period—starting December 15th and ending on February 3rd—the Spaniards walked away with a killer sounding record. Think the best parts of Sepultura’s Chaos A.D. or Soilwork’s The Living Infinite or Death Angel’s The Evil Divide. The group then brought back producer Daniel Cardoso (Anneke van Giersbergen, Anathema) to mix and master Cabaret de la Guillotine at Ultrasound Studios 3.
“The recording sessions were very hard, long, and tedious,” Izquierdo says. “It was the very first time we were doing it by ourselves in our own studio. But we all are sure it was worth it. We were super-careful recording everything and very strict with ourselves. Cardoso helped a lot though. Cardoso has worked with us for a long time. He knows us and our music perfectly. He works the same way we do. It’s always fun and very satisfactory to work with him. The reason that we didn’t work with someone else is because we haven’t found someone better.”
For the cover to Cabaret de la Guillotine, ANGELUS APATRIDA re-commissioned Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsák (Destruction, Annihilator). The group liked his work on Hidden Evolution, but wanted a more direct cover. Something that goes with the album title and opening track, “Sharpen the Guillotine.”
“Well, I told Gyula the concept of the title and some hints about the song ‘Sharpen the Guillotine’, which was the former album title”, grins Izquierdo. “Since we are a heavy metal band, we wanted heavy metal artwork. We had enough of the mystical or the conceptual for now. This time, it’s fucking blood everywhere!”
Look for ANGELUS APATRIDA’s Cabaret de la Guillotine to thrash expectations, excite fans, and crush charts when it’s released this spring. For a new era of thrash is upon us. Also, be prepared for ANGELUS APATRIDA to hit European stages in May and rest of year. Only the front row is real!
PSYQUE es una banda de metal procedente de La Laguna, Tenerife. Tras una larga
temporada en la búsqueda de músicos que se adaptaran al proyecto, a mediados de
2017 se puede decir que Psyque es una formación estable conformada por
Ibrahim al bajo, Oscar en la batería y Víctor a cargo de la guitarra y voces.
Su sonido o influencias pasa por diversos géneros,
entre ellos se destaca el Death, Heavy/Power, Progressive, mezclándolos en un
mismo sentido, llevando así sus temas a un sonido fresco y variado lleno de
melodía y a su vez toda esa energía y desenfado que tanto nos gusta en el metal.