Spanish trio Automatic Ape bring us a thrilling brand of energetic, experimental progressive metal that’s powerful, intense and, well, just a bit awesome.
The Barcelona-based band sent us the breathtaking Dogma to help us get a flavour for what they have to offer. It kicks off with heavy blasts of guitar, a cry of “here’s your fucking dogma,” then a huge smash of lively guitars over a big scream. It’s one hell of an opening.
That drops into a more atmospheric first verse with edgy vocals and drawn-out guitars, then cool little repeating riffs under screams. Repeats of “you’re disconnecting” give way to a little melodic section then another smash of heavy guitars.
A wild section of stabbing guitars takes over, then a big thick bass and distant spoken voices drop into a moment of calm. That tees us up for a heavy ending, with screamed vocals and pounding drums supporting relentless guitars. It’s loud, wild and intense, and you can give it a listen below:
From the same double single is the equally excellent Peko Peko Des (ペコペコです ), on which they posted on Facebook: “Has it ever happened to you that you keep eating although you are already full, only to regret it after a while because you are suffering a strong stomach ache? ペコペコです is a song about human gluttony and our desire to accumulate wealth and false prestige, although we do not need them and they don’t make us happy.”
It opens up with high-pitched guitar sounds, which intensify with heavier drums and repeating guitar chords. A cool riff takes over and gradually grows into an even cooler riff in this funky instrumental track. Give it a listen in the video below:
These tracks follow an EP earlier in 2019 and four singles last year that give us plenty to get excited about from this new band. We had a chat with them to find out more, read on below…
GR: Who are Automatic Ape?
AA: “We are three guys from Barcelona who share a passion for creating music. We started the project about 2 years ago after we parted ways with a singer that we had in a previous band. He is super talented and a great person, but we didn’t have the same musical vision.
“After that, we decided to remain as a trio and start experimenting with all the ideas that we had to figure out who we are and what we have to say. It’s taken us some time, but now we feel that we are starting to find our own voice.”
GR: You just released Dogma. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
AA: “Dogma is a good track to get to know what we do. The song goes through different passages and emotional peaks (highs and lows) that reflect how we feel about the topic of dogmatic thinking. In Dogma we deal with complex human emotions and it’s just natural that our music fluctuates along with these feelings. It’s something that happens quite often in our tracks.
“The song is a scream of rage against the dogmatic thinking that infects our society and it’s also an invitation to think critically, be unique and separate from group identities and poisonous ideologies.”
GR: How would you describe the Automatic Ape sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
AA: “That’s hard to answer because we are pretty sure that what people perceive is very different to the idea that we have of ourselves. So we’ll use some of the adjectives that we’ve been told when talking to fans and people who have listened to us: intense, unpredictable, unclassifiable, paranoiac…so yeah, they might be right considering that we are 3 chimps from a testing lab.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
AA: “Yeah, there are some topics that we find quite inspiring when it comes to write songs: science, technology, sociology and psychology have been our ‘go to’ topics so far and we still want to dig deeper into them.
“We are in a moment of radical changes for mankind and they are happening at an unprecedented speed. Technology and scientific discoveries are taking over our lives as never before and it’s exciting to see how we will manage the whole situation.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
AA: “It’s difficult to name just a few, but let’s try it. Devin Townsend for sure and then… Tool, Gojira, Dream Theater, System of a Down… yeah, these are definitely some of our bigger influences.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019 and into 2020? New music, new gigs, recording etc…?
GR: “We are going to be releasing a new video every month for the next year. We are constantly composing new music and every time we have new song we shoot a video to support it. Our bassist, Marc, has found a new love in producing music videos and he’s doing a great job with that.
“We also want to play live as much as possible, but this will depend a lot on the reception that we get from the public.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
AA: “Not really. It’s always hard to talk about oneself, so we just invite everybody who is eager to discover new music to have a listen to us. We will be happy if some people find some kind of connection with our music.”