Wales has seen an array of breakthrough acts over the past year including Dream State and Holding Absence, as well as Cardiff melodic rockers Calling Apollo - who might just be the next big thing. The quintet, comprised of vocalist Christian Neale, guitarists Dan Hughes and Kevin Williams, bassist Luke Walters and drummer Zak Woolf, are currently gearing up for the release of the The Great Depression: Act II.
The record acts as the direct followup to 2016s The Great Depression: Act I, which explored the political attitudes of 1920s USA and how these are mirrored in modern day UK culture. It was a diverse and interesting theme that swam throughout the record, luckily enough this second instalment from the quintet follows on where the first left off, and it’s an enthralling listen from start to finish.
Frontman Christian Neale’s voice bares a strong resemblance to Claudio Sanchez of prog rock giants Coheed and Cambria, he pulls each track along fiercely, effortless transitions between harsh growls and clean vocals make his delivery captivating, the aggression seeping through in ‘Poison to the Feed’ in contrast to the sombre ambiance of ‘Tiny Things’ gives a great indication of the variety of tone and range Neale possess.
The instrumental side of Calling Apollo is honestly quite transcending. Filled to the brim with beefy riffs, prevailing drums and clever intricate ticks, each track hits on all four cylinders and feels epic in it’s own unique way. Not satisfied with sounding like a band that lean on conventions to guide them on their musical journey - Calling Apollo have a style that makes them easy to identify in a genre that constantly seems to mirror itself.
It's a short, seven song blitz, but The Great Depression Act II is a intelligently placed block for the band to build on, not getting too far ahead of itself - but instead building on what made the band a success originally. Combine the cathartic musicality with Neale’s vocal power and the result is seven songs that will leave you wanting to hit repeat over and over again.