Apollyon Sun God Leaves (And Dies)
Label: Mayan Records
Catalog#: MYNCD 1
Format: CD, EP
Released: 29 May 1998
Style: Industrial Avant-garde Metal
1 God Leaves 4:32 Mastered By Paulo Fedrigoli
2 Reefer Boy 4:58
3 The Cane 4:27 Mastered By Glenn Miller, Engineer Heinz Grani
4 Concrete Satan 3:47
5 Bedlam And Blind 4:20
God Leaves (And Dies) is the debut EP by Swiss Industrial metal band Apollyon Sun, released in 1997 on Mayan Records.
“God Leaves” and “The Cane” were taken from AS’ 1997 Industry Demonstration and were remastered for this release. Written, arranged and produced by Apollyon Sun. Recorded at Greenwood Studios, Nunningen, Switzerland, and Artag Studio, Zurich, Switzerland, January 1998.
“Concrete Satan” includes samples from the film Scared Straight! (1980).
Tom Gabriel Fischer Vocals, Guitars
Erol Unala Guitars
Roger Muller Synth, programming
Danny Zingg Bass
Marky Edelmann Drums
Apollyon Sun – God Leaves – 99%
Making up some of the years Tom G. Warrior let go by between Celtic Frosts Vanity/Nemesis and Monotheist, Apollyon Sun appears to most as just an offshoot, a short lived and ill fated side project. Had this particular brand of Fischer Trademark sound lasted just a couple of albums longer, I believe this notion would be in the minority. And speaking of Monotheist, after that album was released there was little doubt that Mr. Fischer had some love for industrial metal. I mean, some of the more groovy moments of the album (and Triptycons Eparistera Daimones for that matter) are not a far cry from Godfleshs heaviest moments. But its here, obviously, where the industrial aspect reaches its zenith, and where the sludgy moods that would later make up the bulk of the previously mentioned albums would first rear its head.
What we have here, basically, is what would happened if we were to mix Vanity/Nemesis with a very electronic, experimental industrial metal album, namely Godfleshs Us And Them. In this particular case the musical spectrum leans slightly more towards the Godflesh side, although every chuggy and monochromatic guitar riff has the latter Celtic Frost trademark all over it.
Still, the similarities with Us And Them and, on the more electronic, almost trance-ish side of things, Aboryms early works are considerable. It is only when you notice this album came out in 1998 and both Us And Them and Aboryms debut came out in 1999 that you begin to appreciate Apollyon Suns efforts. Along the ones already mentioned, one can draw parallels between the more electronic-friendly moments of this release and some old madchester/baggy bands, namely Primal Scream circa Screamadelica (1991), with strong jungle moments and sample-happy drumming/sound clips. At times, one could almost describe this as a heavier (in the traditional sense of the word) Rammstein circa Sehnsucht (1997). In fact, seeing as theres only one year apart from each other, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn Rammstein acted as an influence, even if it were to be a very distant one.
Now, on to the particulars of the music itself. The vocals, for starters, are very unique in Mr. Fischers history. They’re not as deep as raspy as they would get to be in Monotheist, yet they dwell almost entirely on the lower register, going from a raspy black metal grow to a low, drunken and throaty voice during the spoken parts, and everything in between. Quite interesting when you’re used to early Celtic Frosts “URGH!” and latter CF/Triptycons undead, inhuman and ghastly voice/raspy growls.
The guitars, I do admit, are quite subdued, but they’re there and not to be under appreciated. They’re not present throughout the album even though all tracks are certainly metal and therefore guitar-centered, but they do have a strong presence and a distinctive air to them. As mentioned, they have the Fischer trademark all over them, so the strongly familiar sounds of chuggy, heavy dissonance and paradoxically aggressive sludginess will bring a smile to anyone who enjoyed the more groovy/doom oriented moments of Fischers trajectory.
I realise Marky Edelmann of Coroner fame is behind the drum set, yet the drumming is probably the weakest element of the whole album, consisting of very simple mid paced patterns alternated with sampled/machine drumming which make up the base of the faster, jungle-ish moments. The actual human drumming is not as heavy as it should be, both in sound and execution, which steals some weight and momentum from the other instruments, mainly the guitars. It kinda takes away some damp, obscure element of ambience from which the record could have benefited greatly. Not that it ruins the album, they work perfectly fine as they are, but they’re a big let down nonetheless.
Bass would be a completely unimportant (damn near non existent) element were it not for its crunchy distorted sound which adds an extra (and much needed) layer of heaviness to the guitar tone, complementing it and extending it downwards with every spring-like note. Thats yet another element which reminds me strongly of Godflesh.
So yes, this short lived “side project” has a lot going on for itself, further proof that, except for Cold Lake (I prefer to blame that one on everyone else, myself), everything Tom Fischer touches becomes gold. If you’re looking for some interesting industrial metal, and metal in general, this should be your #1 choice. Truly this is a lost gem of the genre. It has enough heaviness and Fischer riffage to sit proudly next to Monotheist on any metallers collection, and enough originality and excitement to count as an important and unique release in such a stale genre as industrial metal (or industrial music, for that matter). If you even remotely like industrial and/or Fischers brainchilds, you must give this a try at least once.
5.0 out of 5 stars great start
what we have here is a fantastic little ep from a short lived project that came into existence whilst tom Fischer was away from Celtic frost.
Though there are some minor similarities (the heavy guitars, the moody vocals) there is much new and untapped potential in this music that the frost hinted at but never quite reached.
freed from the chains of expectation of the frost fan base here Fischer and his band of not so merry men can really stretch their writing hands as far as they like, and they did.
this band exists with one foot very much planted in the ring of industrial metal, the other foot though is of wandering all over the place, from the odd rhythms and time signatures that veer from dance and hip/trip hop through to jazz this collection of songs is as impressive as they are weird.
this isn’t going to be music for everyone which is a shame as its quite exceptional and wide in scope.
thats not to say they don’t know how to bang out a great head banger here,there and everywhere.
and thats probably why it all works, much like the best bits of frost, they knew how to harness the power and rage of heavy metal and force that through or into whatever else they happened to be doing at the time and the same is true here.
if you are looking for something brilliant and a little different then give this a shot, just don’t expect to get it first time round!
this is an ep that rewards the listener more and more the more you listen to it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom G Warrior!
Celtic Frost was and is my all time favorite band, because of the simple fact that they gave no consideration whatsoever to what was “conventional” , either by heavy metal standards or otherwise. This project, (and this EP in particular) sits very nicely beside CFs most avant garde material, while maintaining that unmistakable CF “thing” inherent to all of Toms musical output. It is unmistakably Toms voice and stilted, yet bludgeoning guitar and writing styles, but set in a very different context than most CF fans would expect. I only wish I could give this a higher rating than the mere “5 Stars”.