Metal review: Entropia-Electric Chaos

February 6, 2010

On their sophomore outing, Vancouver’s Entropia have crafted a well thought out sound that is just as much an homage to their bloodline and that of the thrash metal genre as it is original and in a few instances, profoundly so. Consider two album highlights: the retro-thrash anthem “Disciples of Aggression,” the best old Metallica sound-alike I’ve heard in ages and the gorgeous closer “Tears of Blood,” which is both their “Beyond the Realms of Death” as it is a fresh approach to the ubiquitous metal ballad. Marrying these disparate poles of being is what Entropia do best on this album.

Electric Chaos opens with “Voice Behind the Throne,” which expands into a driving statement of riff-based intent that showcases the melodic violence of the band. Guitarists Dave Watson and Minsu Kim play off of each other’s strengths, combining to create a soundscape worthy of their 80s thrash heroes. Certainly an interesting choice of opener but it shows the band’s confidence in their sound and in their vocalist, Angus Lummis, who elevates the song from merely interesting and solid to compelling. Once that sense is established, Entropia do little to shake the listener’s faith. Take for instance, the Egpytian influenced Temple of Solomon, a wonderfully textured song that showcases every member’s ability as well as the depth of the production, handled in this instance by LoudChris Demarcus. The song is moody and downright addictive, from the subtle dynamics of the main arpeggiated riff to the fullness of Darin Wall’s bass. Within a genre not especially known for twists and turns and restraint, Entropia’s nuanced sound stands out. Even when not outstanding (their weakest moments are in the late-middle section), Entropia’s performance on songs like “Tyrannize” and “Shockwave” is unimpeachably solid with more than enough groove and variation to be more than merely a reiteration of the sound Exodus perfected on “Tempo of the Damned” or Testament on “The Formation of Damnation.”

I am often guilty of evaluating a band simply on the strength of their last two songs. The reason being that if I were to see a band live, I wouldn’t want them to run out of steam and we all know how easy and disappointing that is. It is therefore heartening to see Entropia save their best for last. “Fallen Master” sees them bare their teeth and snarl. It is the most chaotic moment on the disc, a concentrated serving of face-melting old school thrash metal, held together by tastefully riotous drumming that leads into a memorably groovy outro. The final song, “Tears of Blood,” is the most accessible moment where the band bridges the divide between underground metal and mainstream music without doing a disservice to where they come from. Much like Priest’s “Beyond the Realms,” pardon the hyperbole. I fail to see a reason why this would not be on the radio or even played at a mainstream rock station. Powerful and depressive, the textured delivery is an impressive display of the band’s cohesion and message of overcoming through sacrifice. The band states that their sound was created with no clicktracks, no editing, no bullshit so as to preserve their live integrity.


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