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Chronosphere -Embracing Oblivion cd


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Chronosphere are a relatively new adherent to the current thrash metal craze, putting out their second album in almost as many years and having a relatively brief history under a different name. They were in something of a unique disposition when they put out their 2012 debut Envirusment, which opted for a fairly different path than fellow Greek thrasher Drunkard and Suicidal Angels by skipping up on the Teutonic oriented extreme in favour for a very orthodox Metallica emulation. Part of the flaw in their approach was that they did a little too good of a job of emulating Metallica and failed to establish a needed distinctiveness of sound that had already been accomplished by Evile and Tantara, two bands that also were a good bit more ambitious in terms of aggression and songwriting. It was far from a bad album, but while it showcased a band with a good degree of potential, it just fell a bit short of closing the deal. In light of this, many might speculate that Embracing Oblivion would up the ante by honing the band’s Metallica tendencies into something more along the lines of recent Evile output or perhaps try to be a bit more …And Justice For All in their approach and get adventurous within their accepted template, and they would be dead wrong! Long story short, Chronosphere opted to take a massive risk and completely revamp their entire sound, and boy did it hit pay dirt. Apart from switching out a bass player who was more of an ancillary element to begin with, there is nothing to suggest that this is an entirely different band, but it sure sounds like one when things kick off. This is nowhere near sounding like Metallica, and at times it completely wanders off the map of anything that happened within the Bay Area scene during the 80s. As best as can be explained, this album rests somewhere between the hyper-speed technicality of Annihilator circa Alice In Hell and the progressive tinged efforts of bands like Watchtower and the speed metal character of Intruder and Toxik. In other words, this is a veritable stew of technical wizardry, high speed thrashing with an eye for precision, and a melodic sensibility that occasionally comes off as power metal leaning at times. It manages to be catchy, yet it wows the ears with its sheer intensity, spending most of its time in high octane thrashing d-beat or occasional blast territory, and when breaking things down, still manages to throw in enough notes to keep the ears wowed. Perhaps the most appealing thing about this album is that it literally does not relent. It is completely devoid of the sappy balladry that would encroach on Jeff Waters sound immediately following Alice In Hell, yet even manages to one-up said album in the speed department by essentially hashing out 9 different equivalents of Human Insecticide, though they do finish off with more of a traditional Judas Priest oriented brand of heavy metal instrumental closer in The Redemption (albeit with tons of lead guitar additives) that reminds a bit of the token throwback songs that Waters would throw at the end of some of his later albums. When dealing with the nuts and bolts of each song, it actually goes slightly beyond what Annihilator would do in terms of just how busy the guitars are, both in terms of rhythmic riffs and shred-happy soloing. This is essentially where the influence of bands like Watchtower and Toxik come into play, and perhaps to a slightly lesser extent Voivod (up to Killing Technology. Perhaps even more surprising still is the highly effective use of gang chorus chime-ins that would make Scott Ian quite proud. To put it mildly, Chronosphere hit this one out of the park, outclassing a lot of the more technically oriented stuff to come down the pike in recent years and also establishing a place in the current thrash metal scene that is truly unique. Nobody else out there sounds quite like this at present, though it is arguable that there are a number of equally extreme albums out there that would top this one in terms of accessibility and hooks, the latter of which is not necessarily in short supply here. It’s the sort of album that has enough melody and smoothness to it to rope in a lot of people that want a cleaner version of thrash metal as exemplified in 80s Anthrax and a number of more speed metal oriented New York and Canadian bands, as well as those who live and die by the number of notes that can be thrown into a riff or guitar solo. Even bass oriented metal enthusiasts can find a few isolated places where one of the more neglected instruments in thrash metal is given an opportunity to trade blows with the stage-hogging guitars and fill happy drums. It’s a far cry from the extreme Teutonic character that has come to typify a number of Greek bands, but it has its own version of extremeness that definitely demands recognition.

Track listing:
1. Killing My Sins
2. One Hand Red per Saint
3. Force Fed Truth
4. Brutal Decay
5. Frenzied from Inside
6. Herald the Uprising
7. City of the Living Dead
8. Seize Your Last Chance
9. Beyond Nemesis
10. The Redemption

Additional information


Punishment 18

Release Year

Catalogue Number

P18R 081