Review by Sonny for Total Annihilation - ...on Chains of Doom (2020)
First off I've got to say the production on this album is first rate - the sound is crystal clear and every instrument can clearly be heard - in particular there are a couple of early moments when the bass shines throught to great effect, at the end of opener Falling Fast and during the chorus of Reborn in Flesh. The guitar sound is crisp and the drums have a great "snap" to them.
The songs themselves are fairly aggressive death/thrash, borrowing heavily from the Kreator template and in this comparison is sowed the seeds of TA's destruction, because compared to the Teutonic giants this will always come off second best. The songwriting is decent, if not earth-shattering, but to be honest it's virtually impossible to sound original playing a fairly limited style of metal like thrash after nearly forty years of the genre's history.
The vocals, whilst being mainly well-suited to the style are just too similar on every track. A slower track like the first half of Dead Souls for example, would really benefit from a different vocal style - Daniel Altwegg's delivery seeming to limit what is the album's standout track. In fact Dead Souls is the track that gives me some hope for the band as technically the members are all exceedingly proficient, but it seems like the songwriting (along with the vocals) are limiting them. However Dead Souls proves that they have it in them to write excellent thrash metal and if they can produce more in this vein then they can yet put out a great album.
As it is, this is good, if somewhat predictable, aggressive thrash metal from a band I feel are capable of more and I seriously hope they manage to take that extra step up.