Chapter Chaos Begins
posted on 2/2007 By:
Long standing thrash outfit Anonymus has built a name for itself in Canada--especially in their native Montreal--but unfortunately remain aptly named outside their homeland. The band aims to change that through their sixth effort (and Galy Records debut), Chapter Chaos Begins, and indeed the album has already garnered some critical praise in the few months since its release. It’s not difficult to understand what these critics are hearing that they find so appealing, but I remain less enthusiastic about this serviceable, but hardly essential offering of ten tracks of blue collar, straight up the gut vintage thrash.
These guys have been at it since the late 80's, and their sound remains true to their roots and that era of thrash metal, with their influences sounding like a cross-section of many of the big names of the time, including the likes of Anthrax, Sacred Reich, Exodus, Death Angel, Sepultura and Metallica. As such, the band benefits from the familiarity factor–Chapter Chaos Begins feels like stepping into an old pair of shoes (high tops, of course). But it also suffers from this same trait, as nothing here really gets the blood pumping like the work of that classic time. Instead, Anonymus have delivered a decent and respectable effort that offers nothing exceptionally offensive, but also doesn’t quite manage to score a direct hit on the thrash funny-bone that guarantees the involuntary reflex of enthusiastic headbanging on contact. One sure as hell can’t question their effort though.
Chapter Chaos Begins boasts a muscular, skull thumping ferocity that many of today’s thrash bands seem to find elusive. The album delivers stacks of riffs springing from all points along the guitar neck, and Kirk Hammett would be pleased (and a little jealous) to hear that Anonymus believe that there’s still room for solos in metal. Lots of room, actually. The songs are fairly well-developed, although consistent with the genre, there’s little use for any gear other than fifth. Front man and bassist Oscar Souto turns in an energetic vocal performance, roaring and shrieking like a madman, and also frequently utilizing a crossover-like bark. At times the relatively slower, frequently layered vocal melodies sound a lot like early Anthrax ("Technology Kills", “Chapter Chaos Begins”), and this variety adds to the material, although occasionally the vocal melodies like in the sing-song chorus of "I Am Addicted" show some chinks in the band’s songwriting armor. In their early days the band sang entirely in French, and later added in some English too, but they’ve made a near full-time switch to English with the exception of a trio of tracks.
Those fiercely loyal to the style should definitely look into this release, as there’s no shortage of full tilt thrash vibrancy. There’s no denying that this is very much a “chapter” you’ve experienced before, and from better storytellers at that, but Chapter Chaos Begins does enough right to be worth a spin every now and then.
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