DARKER THE SUN - An Apollyon Sun Compendium
"There are only two basic ways to establish competitive advantage: do things better than others or do things differently."
Apollyon Sun are untainted ascendancy, basic components of volume and aggression. Or, as international press voices prefer to put it: "wildly experimental in every way", "the challenge of the norm", the most unpredictable, surreal and pretentious band ever to emerge", "revolutionary, aggressive, risky, self-destructive", "the final triumph of art over noise".
This band is the strategy of the avant-garde. A fusion of untainted, fresh blood with the proven, uncontained reputation of pioneering Swiss-American act Celtic Frost, represented in Apollyon Sun by Frost singer/writer Tom Gabriel Fischer:
Fischer - voice, synth, programming, bass, guitars / Unala - guitars, programming, synth, bass
Apollyon Sun... characterized by a near-fanatic strive for musical power, experimentation and fundamental leaps. As the band themselves put it: "Where never a wheel has marked the tender grass...". This pulse, the pulse of contemporary developments, is as important as the guttural, primitive energy and aggression of the post hard-music era. The sound of Apollyon Sun evokes images of combined savagery and art. Labeled "musical architects" by the UK media, Apollyon Sun made their first two albums, "God leaves and Dies" and "Sub", a taster, a foundation on which the band are to build excessively and aggressively in the future. And the future is now.
The band were first discovered in 1997 by London-based Sanctuary Music Management, on the strength of an outstanding five-track industry demo CD. Subsequently managed by Rod Smallwood and Merck Mercuriadis, Apollyon Sun released a five-track debut mini-album - "God Leaves (and Dies") - on London's Mayan Records in summer of 1998 and then contributed two songs for the soundtrack of top-rated BBC TV show "City Central".
Work on a full album, "Sub", began at London's Trident Studios that same year, with renown producer Roli Mosimann (Björk, Marilyn Manson, Faith No More). Further recording and mixing sessions took place at Manhattan's EastSide Sound, London's Nomis Studios, and at various studio locations in Switzerland. "Sub" features prominent final mixes by Mosimann, John Fryer (HIM, Nine Inch Nails), and Apollyon Sun themselves. The result is an explosion of eagerness and conjecture, and an entity which aggressively defines its own itinerary and ambition.
"Sub" was released globally through Mayan Records in late summer 2000, after two years of studio work. Fall 2000 saw the band's first international concerts, among them a very radical and uncompromising show attached to the UK's "Kerrang! Awards", in London.
In 2001 and 2002, Apollyon Sun made further soundtrack contributions for the BBC, among them music for the high profile TV production "Red Cap" with Tamzin Outwaithe. Unala and Fischer also participated in former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl's (Foo Fighters) "Probot" album project. Co-written by Grohl, Fischer and Unala, the resulting song "Big Sky" features Fischer on vocals and Unala on guitars.
Work on Apollyon Sun's third album, tentatively titled "Flesh", began as early as 2000, this time at the band's own newly expanded studio facilities in Switzerland as well as at Unala's and Fischer's home recording studios. The resurgence of Celtic Frost and the songwriting and recording work for Celtic Frost's first album in 13 years served to temporarily put Apollyon Sun on hiatus and interrupt work on "Flesh" - Celtic Frost had not only required Fischer's services again but also asked Unala to join the re-formed project as the band's guitarist and programmer.
Apollyon Sun currently envision to continue work on their "Flesh" album in the course of 2003, with a release possibly in late 2003 or in 2004.
"[Apollyon Sun] set standards most will struggle to match. [...] this has a 21st century groove and a post-industrial epic gloominess that is captivating, charismatic, intense, yet moodily melodic."
Kerrang! # 705, London, England
"Anyone familiar with Tom Gabriel Fischer and his previous output in avant-garde metallers Celtic Frost probably won't be surprised by the contemporary subtleties offered by the enigmatic Apollyon Sun. Fischer's stabbing riffs penetrate a thick, shifting undertow of dub bass and dark melody, topped off by his hypnotic vocals."
Metal Hammer, London, England
"You guys are gonna KICK SOME ASS with that new album... trust me!"
A fan, via e-mail to the band's website
"It's the orders you disobey that make you famous."
2002/03 - continued songwriting and recording sessions for third album "Flesh"; further soundtrack work for BBC TV, London.
2001 - invitation to contribute a song to the "Probot" project by Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters)
2000 - international concert debut in London, England. "I have never seen anything that compares to Apollyon Sun's show" (Valerie Potter, Metal Hammer UK, 2000)
2000- worldwide release of first full AS album "Sub" on Sanctuary Records. "I have this album, be warned its tracks won't leave your head alone" (customer feedback, amazon.com)
1998/99 - recording sessions for "Sub" album in London, New York, and Switzerland. Produced by AS and Roli Mosimann (Björk, Marilyn Manson, Faith No More), mixed by Mosimann and John Fryer (Nine Inch Nails, HIM). Soundtrack work for BBC TV, London.
1998 - international release of AS debut EP "God Leaves (and Dies)" on Sanctuary Records/Mayan Records. "Apollyon Sun are attracting a lot of attention and quite rightly so" (Phantasmagoria.com review, 2000)
1997 - release of legendary AS five-track industry demonstration CD to overwhelming media and industry response, and discovery of the band by Rod Smallwood and Merck Mercuriadis (Pet Shop Boys, Crispian Mills, Iron Maiden).
1995 - formation of the AS project by Fischer and Unala, out of the remains of avant-garde pioneers Celtic Frost ("Into the Pandemonium").
"The direction is tilted toward the stark realism that marks our current existence in a colorful and diverse commentary", Vinnie Apicella, about.com, 2000