HEMOTOXIN
When Time Becomes Loss
(Pulverised Records)
29:06min

Playing a brand of Thrash Metal that blends progressive elements with Death Metal leanings, HEMOTOXIN deliver a perfect blend of fury and melodicism to their newest full-length, “When Time Becomes Loss”, released through Pulverised Records on CD and 12″ vinyl. With seven tracks clocking in at less than half an hour, the album is a surgical and precise ride of dynamic riffs, pummeling drums, soaring lead work, and DEATH like vocal delivery, with no filler or down tracks whatsoever, “When Time Becomes Loss” dominates from start to finish. Opening with ‘Morbid Reflections’, HEMOTOXIN strike hard out of the gate, with a blinding fast whirlwind riff, accompanied with squealing leads, impressive drumming and the beautiful tonality of the fretless bass. The Thrash Metal barrage riffs across octaves with fluidity and intricacy, there is a wide-open sensation to the riff crafting that genuinely brings the songs to dynamic life. Gripping solos lace the structure of the song, but these aren’t simple scale runs, playing in the box, or firing off random notes, these are well-crafted, progressive-style solos that breathe and pulse with a life of their own. ‘Call From The Abyss’ is a Thrash powerhouse that pounds away with a driving blast beat and string-hopping chaos in the primary riff. Harmonizations against the main riff add depth and character, simple tricks to really make a riff stand out. Pure speed gives way to a melodic break slightly before the two-minute mark, accompanied by an epic solo that stretches for nearly a minute and impressive double-bass work to support it. Reverb-drenched bends, whammy bar pulls and harmonization turn the solo into the center piece of the track. ‘Malediction’ is a shift into a more Death Metal approach to the songwriting. The riffing is more centralized, with palm-muted chunky chords and discordant arpeggios, huddled close together to create a sense of tension within the structure. Much like the previous track, the break and change in tonal contrast paves the way for a powerful lead to take the center. Single-note sequences grind the song to resolution. Returning to the Thrash Metal structuring is ‘Abstract Commands’, much like the previous tracks, the riffing is phenomenal, with multiple shifts, an abundance of sonic detail and guitar players across the board will appreciate the flurry of techniques employed here. Again, the lead work is flawless, and the delivery is the highlight of the track. ‘Conscious Descent’ opens with acoustic guitar and once the song kicks into gear, layered details like the gorgeous fretless bass playing shine through. The track is another prominent display of progressive-style riffing like several of the earlier songs accompanied with a dynamic chord progression forming the foundation for another amazing lead to shine through. ‘Reborn In Tragedy’ is a more tempered display, as opposed to the rapid-fire carnage of the rest of the album. It’s no less heavy than the other songs, its just a more openly dynamic track, playing almost like melodic Death Metal with a very technical edge to it. Interestingly enough, and something not heard nearly enough in modern music, the lyric writing is top-notch. There is a sense of grief, desperation and anger that works in tandem across both vocals, rhythm work and the staggering, soaring lead within the track. The title track closes the album, and once again, showcases the band’s more melodic approach, teetering on the edge of technical Death Metal and melodic Death Metal. Again, the lyrics are excellent, and the lead work stretches on with brilliance and character. When it comes to Thrash Metal, unfortunately, it stagnates easily. This is not the case here; this is an album that will leave you wanting more. At seven tracks, clocking in at under half an hour, this is a quick listen and it’s good for multiple spins at a time. The lead work is refreshing and well-crafted, each song possessing its own unique execution, each lead brimming with sonic dynamism, these are not your typical scale runs and frugal bends. The riff crafting is razor sharp and saturated with detail and paired with drumming that is the perfect combination of speed, brutality and tempered accents and fills. The production is ultra-modern, well-spaced across the mix, with every instrument ringing perfectly clear, with all of the glorious detail of the guitar work right out in the open, you can’t ask for a better mix for this type of Metal. If you want progressive Thrash, structural technicality, screaming leads and well-constructed songs, you want “When Time Becomes Loss”, HEMOTOXIN have delivered an excellent record here and will leave listeners wanting more. For more information on HEMOTOXIN, check out www.facebook.com/hemotoxin and for additional information on Pulverised Records, see www.facebook.com/pulverisedrecords.

Andrew Krause

Andrew Krause

Related reviews / interviews:
HEMOTOXIN - Biological Enslavement (David Simonton)

Leave a Reply