Review: Extinction – The Apocalypse Mark

Twenty-five years ago the Italian thrash/death metal band Extinction was formed by vocalist Massimo Muci, guitarists Danilo Bonuso and Daniele Greco, bass player Giuseppe de Benedittis and drummer Tonio Latino. One year later Extinction released their debut demo, titled Progress Regress, with the band splitting up in the year that followed. It was guitarist Danilo Bonuso who reformed Extinction in 2014 with a different line-up that later, again, changed for a bit. With that new line-up Extinction released their debut full-length, titled The Monarch Slaves, in 2017, twenty-three years after Extinction’s original formation. The line-up that can be heard on that album consists of Danilo, drummer Alberto Scrivano, vocalist Alice Darkpeace, bass player Marco Vicenza and guitarist Marco “Hellfire” Campanati. Two years later, that’s last year, Extinction released The Monarch Slaves‘ successor, titled The Apocalypse Mark. In the meantime there, again, were some line-up changes, making the line-up that can be heard on The Apocalypse Mark consist of vocalist Filippo “Howling SStar” Collaro, guitarists Danilo Bonuso and Marco “Hellfire” Campanati, drummer Alberto Scrivano and bass player Marco Vicenza, who left after the recording of The Apocalypse Mark and is now replaced by Lorenzo Catolla. So, The Apocalypse Mark is the first Extinction album on which vocalist Filippo “Howling SStar” Collaro can be heard.

So, let’s begin with his parts on this album then. Filippo “Howling SStar” Collaro mainly delivers low grunts, such as in No Crimes in Paradise and Staged Terror Attacks, with, especially in Mad Jack and No Crimes in Paradise, a bit more endings going towards screams. Those aren’t the only vocal styles he delivers though. In El Diablo Del Norte and Hell Behind A Screen he also shows some almost clean vocals and in Become A Robot he more goes towards growling.

Marco Vicenza’s bass work is, as it should be with a bass player, a very stable factor on this album, on which he, together with drummer Alberto Scrivano’s pounding drums, such as in Mad Jack and El Diablo Del Norte, pounds heavily while creating a very solid basis. At some moments Marco’s humming bass can be heard a bit more clearly, such as in Mad Jack, No Crimes in Paradise, Hell Behind A Screen and album closer Hidden Dictature. In addition to that he also gets an extra show moment with his bass riff in Become A Robot.

Speaking about Become A Robot, there is more to hear that’s definitely worth mentioning in that track and that’s the nice snare-gliding effect on the guitar, especially during the beginning of this track. When speaking about the guitar in this track of course I can’t leave the solo unmentioned, but nice guitar solos aren’t a rarity on this album. Every track on this album, except intro Subcutaneous Parasite, includes such a nice guitar solo, with in some tracks, such as the title track and Staged Terror Attacks, this even being the case twice. To give you some other examples, be sure to listen to the nice solos in Mad Jack and Hidden Dictature. Those aren’t the only things that are there to be heard when speaking about the guitar parts on The Apocalypse Mark though, with the guitars being the most important and most standing out part of this album. We’ll regularly hear very tight riffing, such as in the title track, No Crimes in Paradise and El Diablo Del Norte, but also some more melodic guitars, such as in Mad Jack, Staged Terror Attacks, which also includes some nicely roaring guitars during the delaying ending of it, and Hidden Dictature. This all without giving in to any of the brutality that Extinction shows on this album.

That’s for sure, The Apocalypse Mark is brutal, with sometimes very grooving parts, such as in Mad Jack, No Crimes in Paradise, Become A Robot, Hell Behind A Screen and Hidden Dictature. This all is delivered with a huge load of energy, as can be heard very well in El Diablo Del Norte and Staged Terror Attacks, and with quite some rhythm-changes included, such as in the title track, No Crimes in Paradise and Staged Terror Attacks, with the transitions between those rhythm-changes, as well as the transition between intro Subcutaneous Parasite and the title track, being executed very fluently without having to give in to any brutality.

So, are you in for some very brutal thrash/death? Then be sure to check The Apocalypse Mark by the Italian band Extinction!

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