Monday 2 May 2022

Apex Ten - Chem-Trails LIVE (Album Review)

Release Date: April 20th 2022. Record Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Chem-Trails Live - Tracklisting

1.Mirage 14:11

2.Tentacles 08:06

3.Frame Of Mind 08:38

4.Gravity's Fall 11:21


Drums: Alexis Radelet

Bass/Vocals/Theremin: Brad Masaya

Guitar/Lap-Steel/Theremin: Benoît Velez


Belgian Psych/Space/Stoner Rockers Apex Ten have just released their first Live Album - Chem-Trails Live. This is a fantastically sounding and constantly engaging album that has a powerful live performance from the band.

Apex Ten sound like they take influence from bands such as KYUSS, Earthless and Yawning Man with a healthy dose of Desert/Stoner Rock keeping the band grounded. The music is always relying on the right side of Heavy Psych Rock that occasionally branches out to Prog Rock territory especially on the stunning opening song Mirage which runs past the fourteen minutes mark. Different strands of Psych Desert/Stoner Rock combine with a powerful Space Rock environment for a song that flows naturally and powerfully when those heavy swirling space grooves arrive.

There’s a lot to take in with the opening track but it’s quite easy to get swept up by the great music that Apex Ten have created here. The added use of Theremin did set alarm bells ringing for me as I’m not a huge fan of that instrument but it’s used quite subtly and intelligently that didn’t bother me in the slightest.

This is a jam-based album where Apex Ten find plenty of opportunities to play Earthless inspired Psychedelic jams which is on the majority of the songs.

Tentacles and Frame Of Mind are my favourite parts of the album with Apex Ten being more restrained in places before unleashing more heavy progressive themed Psych Spaced Out Jams that have a different level of heaviness to them.

The vocals from Brad aren’t what I expected either. As I expected, one more suited to the Desert/Stoner Rock scene and Brad has a Post-Punk/Industrial style of vocals but they work superbly well and becomes one of the albums main strengths along with the epic grooves contained within the album.

The album ends with the spellbinding Gravity’s Fall and it follows the same path as the other songs but perhaps with more creative flair allowing the band to go that little bit crazy with this track. The song is still full of modern day Psychedelic Jam Based grooves with that Space Rock flavour keeping things moving along for a captivating finish.

For a Live Album, the production is first rate. This doesn’t feel like a Live Album at all. This has a “real” studio quality feel to it whilst still having a raw honest edge from start to finish.

Overall, Chem-Trails LIVE is an excellent release in it’s own right and I’m excited to hear more cool releases such as this from Apex Ten in the future.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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