Ayo Jegede
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September 09, 2003
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Apex Theory
Topsy-Turvy

existentialism--all of existentialism--had very few concise and correct thinkers. Kierkegaard's ideas, though well-penned and conceived, could simply be reduced to a religious humanism which shared an uncanny resemblance to Martin Luther's idea of solus fide during the Protestant Reformation. Sartre was in it for the ladies (and so was de Beauvoir). Heidegger was an academic prick so protective of his precious philosophy that he codified it with ridiculously specialized vocabulary. in fact, the only two reasonable members of this 'philosophical tradition' were Friedrich Nietzsche and Albert Camus. so that awesome revolution people jizzed over in introductory philosophy classes? yeah, i'd only bother taking two of its members out to lunch.

i guess that's why i couldn't help but chuckle when some people called the combination of System of a Down and Apex Theory the beginning of an Armenian Revolution. besides the fact that these were the only two Armenian bands on the metal scene, only Apex Theory aligned themselves with their ethnic politics (SoAD affirmed a general political upheaval). just like existential philosophy in its day, much of the hype surrounding the band was artificial and woefully over-produced. but like Nietzsche and Camus were the outstanding originators, so are SoAD and Apex Theory originators in a plastic metal environment. what distinguishes them is their fierce, centered political affirmation as well as their attractively unorthodox style.

though full of virile interpretation, the lyrics have a definite political slant. 'Mucus Shifters,' 'Bullshed,' and 'In Books' are pretty good examples as Andy Khachaturian spits speedy, sophisticated but intelligible lyrics. musically, to call them daring is an incredible overstatement. tempo is irrelevant on most tracks, especially with their drummer, Sammy Watson (the only non-Armenian member). his style has the eccentric nature of Danny Carey but overall power of someone like Josh Freese. Art and David also prove to be versatile members, not to be overshadowed by Andy or Sammy. unfortunately whether or not such music will ever be made again is unsure as Andy left the band in late 2002, which is a shame because a band with so much potential should not be left in limbo.

Release date: April 6, 2004
Label: Universal Int'l
Rating: 9.0 / 10

[RMR]