While Technical Death Metal is a mutating scene, increasing in profile, it is still far from the maddening crowd of commercial success. Add in a band with a penchant for a science fiction theme or 2001, and Dutch metallers Apophys could well be described as somewhat niche. Featuring members (past and present) of God Dethroned, Erebus, Toxocara and Prostitute Disfigurement, this Kampen quintet, have caught not just their own imaginations but the eye of Metal Blade. Their first promo, quickly led to their acclaimed full length Prime Incursion.
“This time, something was different.” Vocalist Kevin Quilligan is talking about the moment he and long-time band mate Sanne van Dijk had, as they were wont to do, gotten together to chuck around some ideas. At the time, there was no real serious intent behind it, they weren’t going boldly anywhere until the spark of creativity caught fire, engulfing the pair with an interest in their new work. “We’ve been writing and recording songs for years like that, but this time the material felt like it took a life of its own. Michiel (van der Plicht – drums) soon joined to record a promo and everything went incredibly fast from there.”
Turning in an album of relentless battery is of itself something of an art form, let alone one that maintains the atmosphere of the chilling film Event Horizon. “When I think of Technical Death Metal, I think of Origin, Archspire and Soreption” continues the Throat of Apophys. “I always viewed ourselves as being somewhat more traditional. Sure we have technical elements, but this is not our priority at all. I just want to write killer tracks that are well arranged and filled with little details.
“I personally feel you should always go for broke if you have any kind of ambitions of becoming a successful artist. And so we did, and it worked. There’s basically nothing more than that, we took a shot and it worked out better than we could imagine.”
As the popularity of Technical Death Metal grows, so does interest in the genre as a whole. With their debut out and garnering “a ton of great response from press and fans”, where does Quilligan see his newest outfit fitting in? “I don’t really think (Technical Death Metal) is a fair representation of our sound but I’ve never been one to lose sleep over genres. It baffles me to see people take so much time online to discuss what genre a band fits into, it’s almost fascinating.” While Technical Death Metal is a tag that fits due to the blistering performance of the aforementioned van der Plicht and the non-too-shabby six-stringing, the roots of Apophys are of a more traditional bent. “I mostly describe Apophys as a Death Metal band that is heavily influence by the mid 90’s US Death with plenty of modern elements to keep a fresh sound.”
From a promo to an album at the speed of the Millenium Falcon with a working hyperdrive, thoughts have already turned to a sequel. If Prime Incursion is their Star Trek: The Motion Picture, could the follow up be their Wrath Of Khan and really establish the band…? “Things went incredibly quick for us as soon as the promo was released. So we didn’t really take the time to sit down and talk about what we were planning to do, we just went with the natural flow of things. I feel we did achieve what we set out to do with this release, to appear on the scene with a bang.
“We are already working on some new material with more of a general concept in mind, musically and lyrically we want to expand more; more layering in the songs, more sci-fi, more sound design, more art.”
As excited as Quilligan is about beginning work on a follow up to Prime Incursion he is also fired up about the looming spectre of Episode VII having seen the Comic-con vid, and other trailers.
“I’m pretty excited to see the new Star Wars, I really want to see what they would do with the concept years after the originals came out. I love Star Wars, watched all the episodes vigorously as a kid and I still consider Empire Strikes Back one of the best sci-fi films out there. I read something about die-hard fans being upset about the cross guards on the new light saber, and I would like to use this opportunity to state my personal opinion on this matter: If I would have a laser sword that could cut of my limbs in the blink of an eye, I would be extremely happy on having a solid cross guard on there. Historically it would make sense also seeing as both Luke and Vader have their sword arm cut off at one point.
“I’m just waiting patiently for light saber nunchakus, wouldn’t that be sweet?”