Song review: Apocalypta
Band: The Iron Eye
Location: Brisvegas, Queensland
Date of Release: 1st September 2013
Genre: Alt. Hard Rock
Let may say this, before I actually start this review in earnest. I really, really fucking love good alternative and hard rock. There’s just a wonderful organic feel to the genre that is so very at odds with the mechanical precision of most styles that fall under the Metal genre. Good hard rock has a few different qualities that set it apart from it’s more average counterparts. Read on, and you will discover why this particular song is definitely not suffering in comparison to the big boys of the alt scene.
First thing that you NEED for this kind of music to work is a catchy guitar riff. The opening riff in Apocalypta is a groovy blues-inspired lick that really pays tribute to hard rock’s origins without going a step too far. The verses are vacant, allowing the drums and bass to carry the groove and giving the vocalist room to utilise his considerable dynamic talent to it’s fullest. The only other instrumentation present during the verses is a jingly little line over the top that sounds similar to a synth with the effects that are used. I’m assuming it’s actually a guitar line, but I could be entirely wrong to be honest. The power chords return in the build up from the pre-chorus before the chorus drops. Solid stuff, not at all technical, but very apt for the sound they are after.
The bass is really great, and this is one of the few times I’ve actually dedicated an entire paragraph to it, which says something in itself. The bass groove is tight and adventurous without going off on a random tangent and compromising the flow of the song. The bassist also displays lovely smooth technique, as do the rest of the members, which leads me to believe that these guys would probably be really tight live as well.
The vocals have a grungy, gritty tone to them, especially as he hits his considerable high range. I’m a massive sucker for vocal range, especially when said vocalist can maintain his control and tone in his high register, so the chorus in this song really appeals to my ear. He’s also one of the few vocalists who I’ve heard since starting IPHYB that actually uses the natural vibrato in his voice, instead of ironing it out, or not possessing it in the first place. I’ve said it before: There are a few different qualities that really give you goosebumps in a vocalist, tone, range and vibrato being the foremost ones. This guy nails all categories, no problem.
Drums are quirky, some standard beats with a few deft snare placements and hi-hat chicks to add some colour to an otherwise traditional beat. He accentuates the rest of the band nicely when required, the fills are adequately performed and he can certainly push a back-beat along well. Solid once again.
Songwriting wise, these guys are on point. From what I could make out, the lyrics seem pretty good, the hooks are great, the vocal layering during the chorus is memorable and definitely adds to the atmosphere. I also really loved the vocal embellishments that come through towards the end of the song, not too many vocalists do that kind of thing these days.
My only real problem with this song is with the production. It seems really quiet and dull. It could be just me, used to metal production, but either way I felt that it could definitely be improved.
Overall IPHYB Rating: 8/10
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