Song: ‘As Empires Fall’
Location: Dallas TX
Date of Release: Oct 12, 2015
Reviewer: Mitch Alexander
For Fans Of: Thrash, Death, Denim
I liked this song – quite a bit, in fact. But akin to some fuckhead who does their PhD on the politics of Firefly or the moral ambiguity inherent in Batman, I couldn’t enjoy this song as much as I wanted to because, for some goddamn unknown reason, I could not get past the issue of genre and what the band have decidedly billed themselves as.
This whole, and admittedly petty issue is made all the more unavoidable when I try to churn out the minimum amount of hack cliches necessary to complete a review, so I can go back to bed at midday and sleep off this hangover. Did Chemicaust “offer up a solid slab of neck-wrecking thrash metal”? Or do they “pummel the listener with an aggressive mix of early 90’s Florida death metal and proto-black metal flourish?” A more asinine reviewer might say they do both, but not this guy! This guy will wallow in the minutia of genre delineation until it’s uncomfortable, probably because he has control issues and this upsets his already fragile world view.
My first thought when I heard ‘As Empires Fall’ was, genuinely and regrettably, “Fuck oooooooff, this is death metal”. On the second listen however, it dawned on me that my only real exposure to “thrash” metal has been some Slayer and Metallica here and there. Whenever I’ve been at a venue and the crowd collectively have more denim vests on than they have years before retirement, I usually find a way to leave or get blind, stinking drunk, meaning I’ve not kept up to date with the modern thrash movement. And, if Chemicaust are indicative of where that scene currently stands, then you can still count me out, but I’ll keep up to date with Chemicaust though because they’re actually pretty good.
This song has some tasty speed to it, something I don’t usually like. The drums quite nicely grind and hum in the background as a constant, pummeling dirge – not unlike listening to an argument between a meth couple. The riffs aren’t overly complicated, but are still impressive and enjoyable, much like the vocals; without ever being boring or too repetitive, everything about this band is direct, aggressive, and accessible while never really relenting. It might even be described as focused? Not a note, beat, or scream seemed out of place, even though it also felt stripped back to the bare essentials, and in this day and age of high school students discovering Meshuggah before their sexuality, I found it really exciting to hear. Except for the guitar solos. I fucking hate guitar solos, especially thrash metal ones, apparently. But is this thrash metal? I still don’t know, but ultimately I don’t think it matters. Or that I even give a toss.
At the end of the day, Chemicaust offer up a solid slab of neck-wrecking thrash metal as they pummel the listener with an aggressive mix of early 90’s Florida death metal and proto-black metal flourish. If you’re into heavy music, just listen to it and make your own mind up, man. Don’t be held down by reviews and genres, dude, just, like, make your own way through the cosmos hey.
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Guitar: 8 -7 for the solos so 1/10
Personal Enjoyment: 7/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 7/10
I Probably Hate Your Band is a shitty website full of asshole writers. We do nothing but destroy the hopes and dreams of young bands, and have never offered a single positive thing to the world. /Sarcasm
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