The Apex is a 5-piece band hailing from Windsor, Ontario. “Underbelly” is their new release: a 3-song EP totaling a little over 11 minutes. Admittedly, this one falls outside my expertise. It toes a line between metalcore and djent that I’m totally unfamiliar with. Make no mistake, there are no whiny clean vocals or soft moments on this CD, but there is lots of chugging, dissonant chords, and strange rhythms. The band’s vocalist has a growl that just edges towards death metal, but doesn’t quite always get there. Nevertheless, The Apex leans towards the heavier side of these subgenres. The name that most comes to mind while listening to this release is Meshuggah. There are definitely some strong similarities between the bands throughout this EP.
The three tracks flow well together, as “Underbelly” kicks off with a perfectly timed scream after “Scabs and Sheep”. Though much of the music is a blur of downtuned groove-infested rhythms, the band’s vocalist has a clear enough growl to be able to pick out sections of each song. The title track has a monstrous breakdown, which is either good or bad depending on what side of the djenty metalcore side of the fence you fall on. There isn’t a lot of speed on this EP from the guitars, as it is mostly the consistent pounding of the drums that offers more intricate playing. The result is that groove dominates the EP at the expense of melody. Undoubtedly, The Apex is very good at what they do, but this band simply does not offer what I look for in heavy music.
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"Scabs and Sheep"
3.25/5 or 65%.
Written by Scott