We Are Magonia / Apocalypse
One of the most anticipated synthwave debuts of 2018 has finally arrived. Now the question is, was it worth the wait? A ten-fold yes! After teasing us for months with blistering singles, We Are Magonia have unleashed Apocalypse. Not only does it prove that they could back up the hype, Apocalypse is one of best debuts to grace the scene in years. The mysterious trio of French synthwavers that make up We Are Magonia should be very proud because Apocalypse is most certainly going to be remembered as one of the best records of 2018.
As I mentioned before, We Are Magonia spent the latter half of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 releasing stand alone singles that were far and above what most other artists were releasing. The fact that this was a new outfit seemed incomprehensible...who were these guys and where did they come from?!? "Terror" came first, and immediately I knew that I was hearing the next big thing in synthwave. I immediately started shouting from the rooftops about this new group that seemed to appeared out of nowhere. It didn't take long and we were rewarded with "Electric Guillotine," proving that they had a few tricks up their sleeve, and even more important, they were here to stay. "Ground is the Limit" followed at the start of the year, teasing further that maybe an album was on the way, or at least a solid EP. As summer approached, the images started to appear of the Apocalypse album cover with a release date in June. Praise the dark lords! Once LRV Records dropped their French Synthwave Compilation Vol 1. featuring the yet to be released "Satanic Worship," fever pitch was reached.
So, now that I've set the stage for WHY Apocalypse was destined to be one of the year's hottest records, let me tell you about all the ways it has followed through on all that promise. There are times when a band releases a string of really solid singles ahead of an LP, you get excited, and buy the record the instant it hits the shelves (the electronic shelf, I should say). You hit play and expect to be wowed by all these other songs you haven't heard yet only to be disappointed that all of the work went into what came before full product. I absolutely abhor filler. Even as a child I understood when an artist was being lazy and shuffling out a product without putting the proper work in. You can waylay any fears that We Are Magonia was going to fall into that trap. Apocalypse is all killer and no filler.
The variety of sounds you experience while listening to Apocalypse shows a vast depth of songwriting talent. Dark synth music tends to be a bit one-note...bombastic beats, hammered minor-key synths, and screeching effects for good measure. We Are Magonia sidestepped this hurdle by crafting an album that never feels like you're listening to the same song twice. It flows incredibly well from track to track and the production that went into this album bleeds through every single note. As I commented before on the mysterious origins and their members, Unknown 1, Unknown 2, and Unknown 3, this sounds like the work of seasoned veterans, not a debut.
I honestly can't recommend Apocalypse any higher than I have in this article. I've been a fan of We Are Magonia since the night I heard "Terror" for the first time. A personal investment was made at that point...an investment made in good faith that there was more where it came from. Not only have We Are Magonia upheld my faith in them, they've exceeded every expectation of what their debut would be. Head over to Bandcamp now to get your hands on this surefire Album of the Year nominee. They've even got CDs!