Album Reviews

Chain Reaction – Cutthroat Melodies

  • Review by: Ankit Baraskar

Groove is extremely important in metal, as aptly illustrated by the likes of Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Gojira, Pantera etc. Chain Reaction is another band that reminds you of this very fact. This Polish outfit plays old-school thrash/groove metal, clearly extremely Pantera inspired in every way. And they DO know what they’re doing.

Right from song 1 (titled ‘Twinge’), the onslaught begins. Groovy, chunky riffs that make you headbang in rhythm, with occasional melodic interludes/sections that prevent the songs from being too monotonous. Looking at the song structures, it is pretty evident that this band has worked hard to achieve the consistency in sound and a constant working formula that provides a solid base for further experimentation. The acoustic parts on ‘God Lives Too Long’, the almost djentish riff on ‘Insomnia Revisited/H.B Woodrose'(very clever use of the bass here), the solos in ‘Elder Thrived’ all indicate that the band can break out of the niche if they really want to.

But then again, all those things aren’t the real essence of their music. The riffs are. This album reeks of hard work and brainstorming, of perfectionism. The riffs are lovingly crafted, the transitions are thoughtful and never feel out of place, the basswork is neat, and so is the drumming. And the vocals go very well with this aural backdrop, accentuating the aggression, even going clean when necessary. The mix is as good as the composition, with each instrument given varied levels throughout the album according to the individual need of the songs.

No nonsense, in your face, catchy as heck aggressive grooves make this album worth checking out without doubt. Though this band doesn’t make you go ‘zomgwtflol’, it surely brings back memories of all the days you spent listening to Dimebag’s sludgy guitarwork on loop(and maybe still do). Do give it a try if you appreciate the related bands I’ve mentioned. Final rating? 8.0/10. You can get it in India from SINR(Six Inch Nails Records), so go grab a copy if you’re interested before they’re over.

Songs to watch out for – Insomnia Revisited/H.B Woodrose, Elder Thrived, Class A Prisoner, When Road&Booze Collide