Welsh alt-rock act Calling Apollo originally came together in 2012 when its five members found each other online while searching for a fresh forum in which to exercise their talents. Having all been in bands before, they were no strangers to ensemble work and their debut EP, Vessels, was forged soon after their formation.
The following few years saw the quintet taking their material out on the road around the UK, as well as releasing a critically acclaimed sophomore outing entitled Hunter|Gatherer. Now, they’ve returned to unleash their latest six track undertaking, The Great Depression: Act 1.
“Light the Way” opens the record with an eruption of heavy riffs that tone down for a sobering stanza before a powerful chorus comes in to captivate. The ambience remains riveting moving forward from here as the music and melody continue to exude an abundance of energy and enthusiasm, giving rise to a diverse and dexterous introduction. There’s an urgency to the guitars and percussion which commence “Clone City” afterwards. It’s not long until a forceful refrain arrives to resound rousingly across the instrumentation, ensuring the atmosphere stays stirring through to the commanding conclusion.
“Obelisk” is another portentous and pressing piece that dives straight into a sea of exciting riffs and vigorous vocals. Its combination of slick choruses and speedy stanzas results in an incredibly cogent composition that feels deep and meaningful from start to finish. “The Wars” adopts a mellower demeanour when it’s done, taking its time as it trots through reserved riffs and tranquil harmonies. The rhythm slowly speeds up as the whole thing develops in the direction of an exhilarating finale without compromising its affecting undertone.
“Act 1: House of Cards” is an eight minute behemoth that begins by bursting into a barrage of bright riffs and spirited singing. The cadence keeps quick while the guitars and vocals reverberate boisterously for the first five minutes, after which an emotional epilogue puts a poignant cap on the proceedings. “…and the High Plateau” grows gradually out of its wake as a gentle acoustic riff strolls thoughtfully underneath an introspective serenade. This is succeeded by an explosion of hard-hitting guitars, which proceed to charge towards a thrilling terminus.
Calling Apollo have created a remarkably compelling compilation that adeptly dabbles in several subgenres of rock. Its proclivity for progressive instrumentation that also exhibits mannerisms of metal makes for a series of songs that sound extremely epic. You can experience The Great Depression: Act 1 for yourself on Bandcamp now.