Review Summary: Brutal, technical, thrashy, melodic death metal. Yes...its a good as it sounds
What can one expect from an album called Shoutout To Satan
? A laughable black metal band that tries way too hard to sound dark and evil? An uninspired parody of modern metal? As you can tell, I didn’t have high hopes when I decided to give this album a chance; but this band is yet another demonstration of the old adage: “Do no judge a book by its cover”(or in this case, a metal cd by its case).
Cyanide Breed is an American brutal death band that add some melody into their music(I know it sounds like an oxy-moron but trust me, it really isn’t). They formed in 2000, released a demo, an EP and a full-length and split-up shortly after.
The album starts off with Natazrahn
. Its your typical metal opening track being completely keyboard driven and completely skippable. This trend is seriously overused in metal but I’m not going to go on about that because I’m sure everyone reading the review knows exactly what I’m talking about and is just as bored with the trend as I am.
A quick drum roll starts off Darkened Path Immaculate
and is quickly joined by a fierce guitar riff. The band wastes no time showing us what the album is all about as the second track charges at you with the force of an out-of control freight train. And the impact of that train will last 50 minutes and have you walking away wondering what hit you.
About 30 second into that second song, you are introduced to Pete Gallagher’s screaming. His range is all over the place. He goes from low guttural growls to high pitched raspy screams and everywhere in between. He even does some “clean singing” which is done in a pretty harsh, old school thrash kind of style. I don’t think any other kind of “clean singing” could’ve fit into the intensity of the music and it just adds more variety to his already varied singing..
The guitars borrow from a few different types of metal sub-genres. The two main ones being brutal death and technical death but there is also a significant thrash influence and even quite a few melodies sprinkled in to create an intense, heavy sound with lots of variety to it. The variety is a key factor considering the average song is about 6-7 minutes. Each song goes through many changes but the speed and intensity are constant throughout. The melodic death metal influences are sprinkled a little all over the place but can be found in bigger quantities in songs like Leading The Meek To The Slaughter
that opens up with a great lead riff backed by an interesting drum pattern; and also in Soiled Unborn
with is probably the slowest song on the album(it isn’t slow by any means though). The melodic death influences can be most appreciated in the solo department. Usually when listening to death/thrash one can expect the solos to be focused more on the speed and less on the quality of the sound (something I’ve noticed at least). On here they have some of that style of soloing but it is often followed by another section that is more melodic and often times slightly slower and more bend oriented (a great example of this can be found in Leading The Meek To The Slaughter
). Almost every song has a solo (some have more than one) and they are always an entertaining listen and only further demonstrate the talent of the guitarists.
To match the speed of the guitars, one needs a speedy drummer. The drumming is very solid but also pretty standard. Fans of the almighty blast beat will be delighted by this. Not to say the drummer is completely formulaic. He comes up with a few interesting beats throughout the album and although he might not be the most original drummer out there, he keeps up perfectly with the speed and provides a solid backbone for the rest of the instruments.
So now we’ve covered the singing, the guitars, the drums, we don’t really need to mention the bass…what is left? Oh yes…the keyboards. Yes, that’s right, the keyboards. They are used very sparingly in the album, just enough to show their presence but not so much as to take away from the overall heaviness or alienate fans of brutal death metal. When they are used, they are usually behind the vocals, behind the guitars and behind the drums. They are there, behind everything, adding just an extra speck of melody to the overall brutal sound and even a bit of ambiance from time to time. They don’t ever get really in your face, they just make the band’s sound slightly more unique when compared to the hundreds of other brutal death metal bands out there.
Cyanide Breed craft a superb album of their own unique kind of melodic thrashy brutal death metal that should please lovers of any one of those genres (and delight lovers of all those genres). Another band that shows us there might still be some hope for the American metal scene.
-For the brutal death lovers: Darkened Path Immaculate
-For the melo-death lovers: Leading The Meek To The Slaughter
-For everyone: Soiled Unborn