Jesus Wept
Apartheid Redux EP

Artist: Jesus Wept


Pull out the surgical tools, maybe tease out that hair? And strap in for this sleazy slab of Carcass-meets-Quiet Riot Death ‘n’ Roll that’s purpose built for sadistic fun.

Detroit upstarts Jesus Wept have clearly being doing a lot of homework taking in and learning the ways of Jeff Walker, Bill Steer and Co.’s later works Heartwork and Swansong to get to a product like Apartheid Redux. This little EP is brimming with that sweet, rotting mix of Death-Metal-Meets-Rock riffs popularized not just by Carcass, but by the likes of Entombed, Dismember and so many others in the early 90s, while still finding time on this quick-hitter to throw in a little Deathgrind with a tinge of sticky, gross 80s hair metal for a little extra kick of “oh god I feel like I need a shower” flavor.

“Buried Face Down” gets the Carcass worship kicked off and turned all the way up to 11 with a headbanging, mid-paced bruiser that also has a little bit of a crossover kind of appeal that would fit in just fine with Bloodbath and Merauder fans alike, a sweet spot that I – as explained in my review of Tombstoner’s Descent to Madness EP – REALLY really enjoy. A little bit of nostalgic distortion on a nice lead towards the end of the song has me primed and ready for more throwback goodness.

After a quick 40 seconds of Grind on “Drowning in Holy Water” gets the juices flowing, “Hammering the Nails” pulls back again into that familiar mid-paced Heartwork groove that pummels and pummels until going in for the kill with a super friggin heavy breakdown at the end, accentuated by hammered nail sound effects (appropriate) that just drive your head to the floor and crush you under it’s immense heft. Follow-up “Jesus in Chains (Father in Hell)” picks up the pace a tick to try and revive the your heart that inevitably gave out after enduring such a pounding – but it’s only to keep you alive for another round of pummeling that carries the track out. I mean that’s just Torture 101 – wake ‘em back up just to beat the piss out of ‘em again. Classic move!

“Comfortably Dumb” really drags the whole thing down to the depths and takes a slower, more deliberate approach to breaking you apart, complete with an anthemic, crowd-pleasing chorus sure to incite all sorts of live shenanigans (if we ever get back there) and a closing breakdown that makes the bruiser at the end of “Hammering the Nails” seem like a mere warm up. BRUTAL. Love it.

The end of the band’s original material (“Fucked on the Cross”) kicks things back up to a solid 6 on the speed scale to help reinvigorate your senses, but after a… potentially awkward break half way through (pro tip, don’t have this on too loudly if you’ve got coworkers or heart-sensitive relatives around), the band digs back down deep and closes things out with yet another crushing, doomy break that wraps things up very nicely… Ah but wait! One little tasty treat left with an oddly fitting cover of W.A.S.P.’s iconic “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast.)” It just goes to show how sleazy 80s rock and hair metal actually fits in rather well with this kind of thing. On paper? Seems odd. But it works!

I’m really looking forward to seeing what these dudes bring to the table as their career moves on. This is another super fun little EP in 2020 that brings a whole lot of nostalgia to the table, and mixes it up with some more subtle modern twists. Super simple, super greasy, super effective. I’ll take plenty more of this, please!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
September 4th, 2020


  1. Commented by: F.Rini

    Great review and kick ass release!

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