Gregorio Franco / Apocalypse Prime
Proving himself to be one of the busiest men in synthwave, Gregorio Franco has just released his latest full length effort, Apocalypse Prime. Not only is it his most ambitious work to date, this record is also his best. Prime not only pushes the envelope toward the fringes of metal and synthwave, it pushes beyond the boundaries that Franco has previously reached. He’s never been shy about his influences, and I knew that Apocalypse Prime was going to be heavy, but my oh my, I wasn’t prepared! This record is HEAVY with a capital H.
Other artists have blended metal and synthwave together, in fact most of the biggest names in the business openly site metal as influences (from Brut, to Pert, to Gost). That being said nobody other than maybe Big Lich have been able to fuse facemetling metal and dark synth like this before. Apocalypse Prime may have neon fringes, but I assure you, that neon is blood red light pulsating from a pitch black core. This is history we are listening to…this is a paradigm shift in dark synthwave, and Gregorio Franco is steering the ship.
If blistering riffs, double bass, and murderous tempos weren’t enough to impress you, Apocalypse Prime shows that Gregorio Franco is one of the top tier songwriters in synthwave. There’s nothing trite, simple, or paint by numbers going on on this record. It’s relentless, creative, and the hooks hunt you down like you are their prey. These songs don’t just get under your skin…these tracks burrow like props from a Hellraiser film.
I’d be tempted to call Apocalypse Prime Gregorio Franco’s magnum opus, because I honestly don’t know how you top this. That being said, he’s gotten better and better over the course of every single release. Until he reaches the dark plateau at the top of the mountain, I’m going to give Gregorio the benefit of the doubt and say he’s going to be blowing our minds again before we know it. That’s what great artists do.