April 21st is a Brazilian metalcore band with a focus on melody, speed, and gargantuan heaviness. Based in Belo Horizonte, MG – Brazil, the band was created by guitarist, Herbert, in late 2016 after he attended The Institute of Contemporary Music and Performance (ICMP) in London – UK. Later in 2017, Nick Lucas (vocals) joined the band and with the support of other local musicians, Alexandre “Vermelho” (drums), Fred Augusto (bass guitar), and Giacomo Ferreira (melodic vocals), the band recorded their first EP.
In November 2017, the band released its first single called “In Your Destiny,” along with a music video on YouTube, and August Nery (drums) joined the project. In January 2018, the second single called “In Whose Name?” was released with an accompanying music video. The first EP named Remains was released soon after in several digital platforms around the world, including the tracks: “In Your Destiny,” “Just Wanna Go Home,” “In Whose Name?” “Bloody Conflict,” and “A Life in Between.” In August of 2018, Nick Lucas left the band.
In April of 2019, the band released their third music video for the song, “Just Wanna Go Home.” In May of 2019, two new band members were added to the mix: Lucas Akira (vocals) and Helbert Collyn (bass guitar). Working now as a quartet, they recorded a new single called “Resilience.” The song was produced at Sonastério Studio in Nova Lima, MG – Brazil by Arthur Damásio (recording/post- production/mixing) and Bruno Barros (recording and production), while the mastering was completed by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden. The new single also featured special guest Drey Henrique on vocals. In July 2020, the band released the single, “Coldest July,” featuring special guest, Leo Turbo on vocals. In November 2020, April 21st released the single, “We Are the Difference,” the third record created by the current band line-up. The aforementioned song was also recorded in Sonastério Studio in Brazil, and the mastering was completed at Fascination Street Studios.
The band’s latest release is entitled Courage is Born From Fear and it was released on September 10, 2021 via Eclipse Records.
The first thing one might notice when listening to April 21st on the new record is the musicianship and the intricate arrangement of the rhythm patterning. Of course, speed and heaviness are what initially strike the listener with a rich, potent urgency, but it is the melodic interplay that hooks us. Plainly, Herbert’s guitar work is as diverse as it is mesmerizing, ornate as it is inspiring, and it threads seamlessly through labyrinthian song structures that take us on journeys. August Nery’s rapid-fire percussion is stunning and Helbert Collyn’s bass work somehow compliments the sophisticated rhythm design and simultaneously stands on its own as a daring aesthetic. Moreover, Lucas Akira’s vocals transcend the badass growl technique he employs. His voice is emotion-personified, and one cannot listen to even one track without feeling connected.
The singles from Courage is Born From Fear are bold. “Struggling to Break This Cycle” explodes through our headphones with enough drive and funk to satisfy the most serious of metal freaks, and “Stand up and Scream” features a platform guitar solo that is the epitome of melody and speed in a glorious hybrid. “Healing my Wounds” contains a harmony element that redefines what a verse riff might be, and Herbert’s favorite, “Decision,” spotlights the fastest and tightest bass drum hummingbird 16ths in a blast beat, that we ever might have the pleasure of hearing (and feeling right down to the marrow).
Still, the thrills don’t stop there. Every April 21st song is part of a larger mural, showing us the landscape of our lives. The band does not just write and play songs, but more, they craft concepts. One might notice a metamorphosis as the music evolves track to track, often themed similarly with emblematic depictions of depression or the power of lies, but it is the structure of the vocal itself that brings the listener to profound satisfaction. The prior mentioned singles are delivered in first person, as if their narrator is glued to the voice in his own mind. When we get to “Decision,” the story teller has changed, living outside himself and narrating his life in third person. The message is beautiful and tragic, as it is delivered by one who has triumphantly taken on his demons, but only when divorced from his own soul by safe distance.
April 21st are more than a band. They are an extreme sort of experience meant for those who want to go deep. Courage is Born From Fear was released on September 10, 2021.