This or the Apocalypse? It’s an Easy Choice.

For fans of Unearth, Lamb of God, Bleed the Sky, God Forbid, Darkest Hour, etc.

I don’t think I’m the only one who’s noticed, but I think the term “metalcore” is becoming a bit of a bad word. When we hear of a new metalcore band, we’re often quick to pass it off as some kind of emo, girl-pants-wearing band that’s only capable of playing breakdowns and the occasional happy riff that goes great with eating candy (see As I Lay Dying’s “The Darkest Nights”). Metalcore was quick to be swept under the rug when everyone got tired of the same generic cookie cutter riffs and breakdowns, and even I, myself will shrug when someone tries to suggest a new metalcore band to me.

A few weeks ago, a buddy of mine suggested a band he’d been listening to called This or the Apocalypse. I was yearning for some new music (like I almost always am), so I went and checked out a few songs on their myspace, and much to my surprise, I was genuinely impressed.  Soon after, I picked up the band’s newest release, Haunt What’s Left. See, there’s a very low bar of expectations I have for today’s metalcore bands, but This or the Apocalypse has a truly new and unique sound that I could really get into: heavy, dynamic, and pissed off. Everyone’s always searching for the new big contender in modern metal and I’m calling it right now: This or the Apocalypse will be huge.

What I first noticed on this album was the dynamic range of different sounds this album takes you through. At some points, you’ll be singing along to triumphant choruses (see “Lamnidae”), air-guitar-ing along to the exceptional lead guitar and banging your head through the crushing breakdowns, often all in the same song. The vocalist, Rick Armellino, has got a ton of different tones he’s capable of using, at times, he’ll remind you of Unearth’s Trevor Phipps, then shape his tone to the grittiness of Atreyu’s screaming vocalist Alex Varkatzas, and soon after scream-sing a chorus who’s lyrics you’ll be chanting along to by the song’s end. Musically, there’s always something interesting to catch your attention. In the age of guitarists that do nothing but double-up on riffs, TotA is a welcome breath of fresh air.  There’s usually two different parts going on, sometimes one super heavy and groovy riff, with a crazy, face melting lead over it. Listen to the opening riff of “Subverse” or “Hayseed” and you’ll know exactly how bad ass this can sound if done right.

Haunt What’s Left is full of a lot of things done right, actually. It satisfies anything you could want from a metal album: it’s got massive energy through every track, it’s got catchy riffs that you can’t help but bang your head to, and an impressive performance from Armellino on vocals throughout. By the second listen you’ll be screaming/singing along with a lot of the albums great lyrics. Some of them are just so bad ass you want just fucking break things when you hear it.

For this just being their second album, and for a band still on a pretty small label, This or the Apocalypse have really proved themselves as a contender for the next big force in metal, and that’s not something I’ll say often. Again, I’m genuinely impressed by the efforts of this group. Go out and BUY Haunt What’s Left today at your local record store, and support such an impressive new band.


Standout Ear-Bleeding Tracks:

“Charmer,” “Lamnidae,” “Subverse,” “Toro,” and “Hayseed.”

Check out This or the Apocalypse’s video for “Charmer” below:

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About Ivan Torres More Metal Than Colossus.

4 Responses to This or the Apocalypse? It’s an Easy Choice.

  1. alyssa says:

    dude. this is pretty good. i checked out the rest of the songs you mentioned and i was pleasantly surprised by each one as well. awesome find, Ivan!

  2. Sean says:

    You always have good reviews man. Humor, information and poetic illustrations.

    I gotta admit I passed these guys up on first hear and haven’t given ’em a good shot yet, I guess i’ll go do that now!

    And I totally agree with you on the whole “Metalcore” issue. It’s synonymous with Fag these days. Yet most of my favorite bands label themselves Metalcore. Germany’s Wolfpack Unleashed and Sanctity(wherever they’re from) don’t seem as huge as they should be; because they’re “heavy, hard hitting METALCORE” bands, maybe?

    Keep up the good work man! Don’t forget to check out Protest The Hero and The Human Abstract’s new albums!

  3. Mrs. Mint says:

    This is a nicely done review! love it…..thanks for pointing me in this direction, for some reason I had not seen this one, and I try to read all of wrecked’s music reviews because its almost always about bands I like, or bands I want to check out, and the reviews are always straight forward,and no bullshit….

    Anyways, I am the same way when I have a new “metalcore” band suggested to me, its like- “ehhhh, another one of THOSE bands”…. like I have said… It just isn’t what it used to be… its all about the look, and the scene now…ugh…
    But I checked out a few tracks, looked up some footage of them playing live, and I am ACTUALLY INTRIGUED!!!
    Its nice to hear a new band that isn’t going where most new bands are right now-( like “djent”… seems like those bands are churning out like frozen dinners on a conveyor belt…but i wont go into that since I already have…ha)…They seem to have some real talent.

    I would definitely like to see these guys live if they were to come around,I checked their tour dates and It looks like it will be a while. Lately I find that when I see a band live first, I either become a huge fan or I’m left unimpressed… then after that, if I love it, I will go see that band every time they come around…EVERY DAMN TIME!!!
    so yea, thanks for bringing these guys to my attention! I will continue to check them out!

    keep the reviews of these new bands coming so I don’t completely lose hope in new shit………ha ;)

    • Brad Whiteside says:

      Your comment on djent…priceless! Djent bands are the epitome of what’s wrong with metal (and a lot of music): lack of individuality, too much studio production, programed drums, lack of original releases (all they do is re-release the same remixes of songs over and over again), etc. I feel the djent movement was something created in a lab over night rather than something grown organically. It’s a mere phase that will pass.

      This or the Apocalypse has grown on me a lot. I was skeptical at first, but they actually do a great job of encompassing a wide range of influences (even a little “djent” here and there) all while keeping it fresh. “The Incoherent” and “Hellish” are by far my favorite tracks.

      Thanks for being such a devoted reader!

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