Apontokation are a band from Guadix, Spain, formed in 2010 by guitar player Patxi and drummer Sijmen. With three other members, Apontokation recorded a first demo in 2011, called Awakening The Beast, followed in 2012 / 2013 by a second demonstrational record, Bloody Carnival (after being ‘reduced’ from a quintet to a quartet). In the meantime, the band was able to perform on festivals like Skulls Of Metal, Blood Fest, Exorcismo Vaginal Fest, Coin Rock etc. (all ‘popular’ festivals in their home country), and to play live along with bands such as Annihilation, Avulsed, Omission and several others.
The original duo has now been joined by vocalist Manu and bass player Gustavo, and with this line-up they recorded their first full length at the Matxete Prod studio. Conquerors Beyond The Stars is a collection of new songs that go on in the vein of the second demo. They bring rather rhythmic and melodic Death Metal with quite some room for technical experimentalism and lots of influences from timeless and, at the same time, traditional Thrash Metal. though it isn’t possible to compare Apontokation to one or another band specifically, the whole sounds pretty ‘trusted’. I guess ‘universal’ isn’t a dirty description right here.
The efforts are quite acceptable, despite a lack of own-faced identity. The members know how to write, and perform, energetic and technically high-standard songs. There is no doubt about that. Unfortunately I am losing my interest from time to time. Especially the groovier songs, like Blódörn, are too catchy for undersigned’s sensitive ear drums. A few ‘technical’ outbursts are too forced, too much wanting to, yet not succeeding to (cf. Ancient Visions). Also the blackened injections aren’t quite satisfying, I think. It’s not infantile yet still somewhat childish to try to sound ‘evil’ but coming up with material that stands miles away from malignancy whatsoever. No, this does not mean that this is poppy material. Damn, from time to time Conquerors Beyond The Stars is heavy as f*ck. But it sometimes lacks of hairy balls. The quite predictable soundscapes / samples too are beneath average.
I do have a (minor) problem as well with the sound quality. The result sounds way too dull, with an average mix that does not bring the necessary equilibrium in between the different instruments. Especially the rhythm guitars and basses are too ‘hollow’ and ‘distant’ within quite a noisy mishmash of sound.
Conclusion: Conquerors Beyond The Stars has its ups and its downs. I’ve heard worse before, but right now I think there’s better stuff around too to enjoy.