PICK OF THE WEEK: Trespasser fire torches of rebellion, fight back against tyranny on ‘ἈΠΟΚΆΛΥΨΙΣ’

Photo by Kristoffer Holden Axiö

We’ve made no secret here that we are not interested in writing about bands that support fascist ideas, homophobia, transphobia, and that ilk, and that philosophical style of music always will not be welcomed here. There’s been enough right-wing ideology in black metal to make one sick (and cue the babies in the comment section) that having something to battle back against that is a must. Luckily, resistance has grown steadily over the last few years.

Swedish two-headed beast Trespasser have been fighting against fascism and right-wing ideologies since their formation in 2017, and their fire-breathing second record “ἈΠΟΚΆΛΥΨΙΣ” (translated means “Apokalypsis”) has arrived to disrupt and dismantle power structures. The band uses the Book of Revelation in an anarchist sense and its ideals as a base to let loose the idea that taking back control and living in a society where victory over tyrannical power is something that can be achieved. But having honorable beliefs is one thing, but that doesn’t always translate into good art. But Trespasser—multi-instrumentalist XVI, vocalist Dräparn—more than deliver the goods, bringing molten black metal with incredible spirit and potency that spills lava and topples worlds. You don’t necessarily have to be lockstep with the band to appreciate their thunderous assault, but it sure helps you get the most of this record. “ἈΠΟΚΆΛΥΨΙΣ” already is out digitally, but if you’re a fan of the physical form like I am, both Red Nebula in the States and Vault of Heaven in Germany have those for you (links below). Super highly recommended, and I’m very excited to hear this beast on my turntable.

“Forward Into the Light!” storms out of the gates with warning sirens swirling and blistering fury overcoming, the fires blazing for all to see. “Join the ranks of proud tradition, a march that’s been under way for thousands of years,” Dräparn howls following a simple but rousing chorus, and then the riffs speed up more ferociously, the playing continues to rip, and everything fades into smoke. “The Great Debt-Strike I: A Pillar of Smoke” delivers an ominous riff that melts into chaos, pummeling and scorching as the damage is spread liberally. The chorus is a firestormer as Dräparn howls, “Burn the records of the creditor!” that lights you up inside and details the effort to strike terror in the guts of the oppressors. Later, a spoken declaration further pushes as Dräparn howls, “Surely I cannot be held accountable for my father and his father before him? Then tell me, from where, then, comes your wealth?” Everything after that is a total bludgeoning. “The Honourable Thrall, Or the Last Remnants of Peter’s Second Epistle Shrugged Off” rouses and unloads, the passion bleeding forcefully as the vicious playing unloads with guitars crushing, and the tempo stomping mud. Everything comes together as the earth feels like it opens, and the wild howls and electricity whips you into a frenzy.

“Flakes of Ash” opens with guitars glimmering and the playing trudging, glorious emotions running over. The gutting continues as the riffs melt, the pace clobbers, and it’s hard to regain your senses once it’s over. “Holókaustos, or the Justification and Affirmation of Hierarchical Order By the Symbolism of Immolations” begins with mystical powers and a banjo scraping out a melody, the power surge not far behind. The vocals strike an urgency, beastly intensity bleeds out of that, and challenged playing washes over, icing and then fading away. “Hand in Hand Towards Har-Megiddo” ruptures and storms, bringing down the columns and dousing everything with riotous energy. “As we marched under a scorching artificial sun, guided and blinded by a seemingly eternal daylight, we chased the night away, rejoice and jubilee!” Dräparn calls as incredible spirit emerges, ransacking and running through blood and bone, dueling leads sending smoke billowing. Closer “The Great Debt-Strike II: יובל” enters in drums blasts and mauling force, Dräparn wailing, “What beautiful chaos it was! What delightful disarray! What majestic confusion! It was divine pandemonium.” The blades swing as the playing decays, wild chants unite the masses, horns call out, and everything comes together perfectly, fueling the torches of rebellion.

Trespasser have unleashed and early year classic with “ἈΠΟΚΆΛΥΨΙΣ” and not just in black metal but in the entire genre as a whole. This album is impossible to hear and not feel everything in your guts, a call back to the people who have been trampled underfoot and refuse to take it any longer. This is a statement, a call to action, and a collection of songs that can ignite the fires inside you.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/trespasserxvi

To buy the album (digital), go here: https://trespasserxvi.bandcamp.com/album/–2

Or here (physical, U.S.): https://rednebula.bandcamp.com/album/-

Or here (physical, Europe): https://vaultofheaven.bandcamp.com/album/–2

For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/rednebulalabel/

And here: https://vaultofheaven.bandcamp.com/