Here at Thrashmania, we are always looking for old classic albums to be given the attention we feel they deserve. Chilean band Apostasy are one such act. Originally released in 1992 only on cassette, their single full length, ‘Sunset of the End’ stands as a landmark release in Chile’s metal scene. It has remained under the radar to such a degree that I can only find a single online review of it. That in itself is a quite remarkable fact in this age of internet-enabled instant access to almost any piece of music ever recorded. I would personally describe the album as a cross between the more progressive songwriting of …And Justice For All/South of Heaven combined with the savage attack of Possessed and Dark Angel wrapped up in a dark foreboding atmosphere. Click here to listen to the album. To describe an album as ‘cult’ is often a polite way to say it is not good enough to reach a wider audience. I believe this is most definitely not the case with Apostasy. I think it likely that a combination of factors such as location, the original label and changing musical climate of the early 90s all combined to prevent the album from getting the exposure it deserved.
[Editors note: after this interview was conducted, Dark Power records announced that the project format had changed and now will come as a DLP with the ‘Fraud in the Name of God’ demo tracks from 1989 on side 2 of the second LP.]
We reached out to the record label behind the project and the band themselves to see what they had to say about the release:
Dark Power Records
– Where did you hear Sunset of the End for the first time and can you remember your first impressions of this record?
I can’t remember exactly when I first heard Sunset of the End but it was a few years ago, I think someone mentioned it on a message board so I checked it out on Youtube and was just completely blown away that I had never heard of this album before. I’m always discovering new-to-me stuff that blows my mind, but as you get older it happens less and less, so this one really stuck out for me.
– Were you aware of the reputation of this record before this plan came together?
I knew the album was great and revered among a small group of people, but I also knew it had kinda flown under the radar for a lot of people, so that was one reason why I was interested in seeing it released on vinyl for the first time (also for selfish reasons because I wanted to own it on vinyl!)
– Did you approach any existing labels about releasing this on vinyl? what did they say? Can you provide more detail about why they declined?
Once I decided I’d really like to see a vinyl release of this album, I approached a handful of labels about taking it on, even saying I would help pay for it. Some never replied, some expressed interest but already had full release schedules etc. The most promising things I heard were “maybe next year” etc. I can’t blame them, everyone has limited resources and you aren’t going to suddenly shift your priorities because some random guy emails you about a project that seems like a great idea to him. Even if someone is willing to foot the bill (that would require them to trust me to follow through) getting a record pressed is still a large amount of work.
– How much input has the band had into the process? What was their response when you originally told them what you planned to do? Did the band tell you if they had attempted to get the album released the record on vinyl before?
Cris was the first person I contacted, to see if he already had something in the works. He said a vinyl pressing had been discussed before but it had never gotten very far, but he was definitely interested…that’s when I started contacting established labels…and once I realized that wasn’t going to happen I went back to Cris to see if he’d be willing to let me take a shot. He has been intimately involved in the process, providing all the artwork and the original recordings, he even came up with a logo design for Dark Power Records! He’s been absolutely great to work with.
– What is the audio source used to create the vinyl from? Did you get access to any original recordings?
The source for this vinyl pressing is the original DAT, which was mastered for vinyl at 15 Hz Sonido, a studio in Chile.
– Did you look at the kickstarter-type community driven approach to funding this project? And why decide to self-finance this?
I was initially hoping to use a Japanese site called Qrates to facilitate this vinyl release. It’s a bit like Kickstarter but specifically for vinyl. The upsides (for me) are they take care of pre-orders and ship directly to the customers, which means I don’t have to store hundreds of LPs and ship them out myself. They also offer digital downloads. I’ve bought a couple things from their site and been impressed, they work with established pressing plants and don’t add a logo to the artwork or anything. The downside is they’re a middle-man so you’re paying more for the records than if you handled everything yourself. Anyway that was my initial plan but I heard from several people that they are sick of pre-orders, and would rather buy from a distro in their own country than pay for overseas shipping, etc. Those are all fair points, so I’m going to do it the old-fashioned way and take orders when it’s available. I may randomly throw a test pressing into one direct order or something as an incentive.
I think it’s easy to ask people to finance your project through pre-orders, but there’s also something to be said for putting your money where your mouth is and taking it on yourself.
– Did you have any discussion with the band’s current label Proselytism about them joining this project?
Nope! They aren’t really a vinyl label anyway though.
– How many copies are you planning on producing?
Original plan was 300, now that I’m going with Pirates Press it may be 250. I’d rather go with a low number and do a repress than have the opposite problem. Since I’m new to this I’m trying to be conservative. I’ve heard lots of interest and messages of support but that doesn’t always translate 1:1 to sales.
– How do you intend to get the finished product out to people when it is ready? Do you have any distros already confirmed?
I will sell the record directly and work with as many distros as I can. Nothing concrete as of now but it’s not something I’m particularly worried about.
– Do you have a concrete release date yet?
No the plant says about 10 weeks but that’s assuming the test presses are fine and nothing else slips, so we’ll see what happens.
– Is this potentially the beginning of a longer term partnership with the band, or is it purely a one off?
For now it’s a one-off, I think we’re all just seeing how it goes and not worrying about the future too much yet.
– Do you intend to continue working under the Dark Power label and put out further releases?
Yes I do. I initially liked the idea of solely doing reissues of albums that had never been available on vinyl before, but there are also some current bands I’d like to work with. We’ll see where it all leads.
Cris Modeus, Bass & Vocals, Apostasy
– Can you tell us your current position in the band.
Now I am playing bass/vocals as it was intended in the beginning when i started the band, but in those years friendship and others things made me do the guitars, mainly because the composition.
– Can you tell me how it felt when you found out that ‘Sunset of the End’ is finally getting a full vinyl release after 26 years (at the time of writing this).
I was very happy about it, I am finally recovering the invertion, it was hard to get it even on tape! hahaha
– Is this a goal you personally wanted to make happen? And have you tried to make this happen before?
Yes. I think everybody into metal bands would like to get the records on vinyl, but now i am very excited about the new songs and material the band is doing so i am also looking forward to bring out the new albums we are about to finish soon. I never tried, I waited for someone to offer making it.
– How did it feel working with someone who believed in the band and the album so strongly that they wanted to release this using their own money?
is very flattering to find someone who like the album that much, he is even doing it 2 LP version, also ordered a new Master specially for Vinyl (I got the original DAT), so it’s gonna be the best version possible of this record and I am very grateful with Andy.
– What has the reaction been like from fans of the band when they heard this news?
The ones I know are very excited, many people wanted this LP on Vinyl, I get messages to the fan page asking about it so finally I can answer, yes!! it’s on vinyl!! hehe
– Do you intend to use this as a tool to reach more fans and relaunch Apostasy in the eyes and ears of more of the metal public? Or is this simply something to use to commemorate the album?
I would say both in some way, I am full on this, to be sincere I am more into the new material, my motivation now is getting the new albums out, Sunset of the End on vinyl is more like a plus now of all I am living with the band, last shows have been very good and the feedback with people has been better than the old days
So there you have it. Excellent news for vinyl collectors, fans of South American thrash and thrash metal fans in general. Follow Dark Power Records on Facebook here and Apostasy here