It’s clear as you progress through this record that Eradikator have somewhat drifted from thrash metal. Moving away from your root sound is a bold move that, unless it’s obviously cynical, should be applauded no matter when or at what point a band pulls the move.
The album opens with a big old burst of energy in Nightmare Dawning, a solid opening track, that stomps along with power. This is followed by lead single and standout track Poisoned By Sorrow, a song that leans closely towards the bands thrashier roots and has a liberal sprinkling of delicious solo guitar bursts.
Revolve slows the pace, and introduces the album’s biggest problem in its direct imitation of Alice In Chains‘ distinct vocal style. Whilst the song has an almost Gojira-esque main riff, it lacks the devastating power and weight that Bayonne’s finest have these days. Haunting starts out like an average Mastodon song before a blatant imitation of Layne Staley comes through to weaken the song. No solo, even a really good one, can erase the effect, which is taken to the point of absurdity when Eyes of Old triples down on the vocal imitation.
Bound to You‘s quality opening wakes the listener back up and carries a very strong hook in the chorus, but the strangely mixed vocal choice in the verse turns another high potential track into a frustrating listen. I Want To Believe is the most damning piece of vocal mimicking on the record; the moment the vocals kick in on the opening verse you expect Jerry Cantrell to appear with a legal team and a cease and desist letter. The Siren Song is an ineffective closer, being the only song with nothing to recommend, and is the only truly damp squib on the album, sounding cheesier than the finest cheese boards you can buy.
Eradikator are far better at being a thrash band than they are at everything else. Pat Cox is a very good thrash metal vocalist and an excellent bassist, and the guitar duo of Liam Priest and Andy McNevin peel out great solos for fun all over this album, yet nothing rises above average to stand out from the crowd. Obscura won’t necessarily lose them fans, but it’s highly unlikely to bring new folks to the party either. Eradikator have talent to spare, as evidenced by their previous work, but unfortunately this album is the aural equivalent of a cake came out of the oven far too early.
Standout Tracks: Nightmare Dawning, Poisoned To Sorrow, Bound To You
For Fans Of: Metallica, Mastodon, Gojira
Written by: Louis Tsangarides