“Embracing Oblivion” marks album number two from Greece’s Chronosphere, and it is also the band’s first release on thrash-centric label Punishment 18 Records. If you are familiar with this label, you will likely have a good idea of what Chronosphere’s sound is all about. If not, the cover art should be another big indicator. This is thrash metal, born and bred in the Bay Area. There is little attempt to do anything innovative or unique; instead, all of the band’s focus goes on trying to thrash as hard as their heroes from the 80’s. On “Embracing Oblivion”, Chronosphere largely finds success in this effort, but the album is by no means perfect.
The one differentiating aspect of this band compared to many of their faceless peers is the vocal performance. The singer of this band brings more of a crossover feel to the music. The most apt comparison would be to Nuclear Assault’s John Connelly. Both singers have that excellent upper range that is a bit wild and untamed, and although “Embracing Oblivion” shows no musical signs of being a crossover record, this element helps keep things interesting. The remainder of the music is extremely predictable: gang shouts, fast pounding drums, and a variety of mosh-inducing riffs. The guitar solos are extremely furious, but tend to be more melodic than Slayer-influenced. Occasionally the band shows some signs of life with the unexpected pinch harmonic here and there, or the fantastic harmonized leads at the end of "Herald of the Uprising", but otherwise, it's business as usual for these thrashers.
“Embracing Oblivion” is not a particularly immediate record when it comes to songwriting. Everything is thrown in your face, but because it’s relatively standard stuff, it will take a number of listens to sink in. If you sit down with no distractions, you’ll definitely find a lot of stuff to love about this album, but for the most part, it serves better as background noise. There are no head-scratching moments, or really anything out of the ordinary. Instead, you are hit with 40-solid minutes of thrash. Whether or not you want to invest the time in this album is up to you, but given the sheer number of thrash bands and albums out there, it’s hard to justify doing so when nothing really stands out after a few listens. Nonetheless, if you want a fun record filled with riffs, or your love of thrash knows no bounds, pick up “Embracing Oblivion”
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"Frenzied From Inside"
3.6/5 or 72%.
Written by Scott