It seems like I’ve come across a lot of great progressive metal this week, so it was a relief when I discovered some rockin’ music that doesn’t feel like you need a map and compass to figure it out. Not because progressive metal isn’t fun, but because it means that listening to the amount of music I’m listening to to keep up with daily posting isn’t changing me, at least not in a bad way. One of my worries when I stepped up the amount of music I trawl through was that I would become overstimulated and desensitized to anything that wasn’t…well, kinda weird. Or kinda really weird. So when I hear a band that are doing something simpler and still making me smile, it’s a comfort. I’m still me. I’m still here. At the end of the day, I love pounding drums, bile-spewing vocals and fiery guitars. And today’s band have plenty of all three. Emerging Chaos’ new EP, “The Decay Of Mankind” is twenty minutes of death metal with punk attitude, the sort of music that will make enemies of your neighbors, empty the room at cocktail parties and ensure you’re sporting a big ol’ grin the whole time.
The secret to Emerging Chaos’ ability to make death metal rock is that their sound shares a lot in common with the eighties thrash scene. Plenty of the riffs would sit quite happily on a big four album, and often the only things that places them in the death metal camp are the vocals and tonality of the music. It’s certainly heavy enough, but other touches like the crowd vocals on “Tomorrow” give it an even heavier thrash vibe, and truthfully, their sound is more of a hybrid than one genre containing elements of the other. The fusion of the two pays off in a big way: the thrash gains access to crunchy death metal heaviness and the death metal benefits from the thrash metal party vibe, with the sort of huge choruses and bright shreddy solos that are tricky to pull off earnestly on a song about doing a maypole dance with a large intestine. Emerging Chaos have written an EP of party death: a catchy collection of bangalong hits that make fury sound fun.
Beyond their genre innovation, Emerging Chaos deserve praise for the sound of the album. The vocals hit just the right spot between the barking of death metal and the traditional thrash sneer, the hybrid once again proving to be more than the sum of its parts. The guitars resist the temptation to take the tone fully into death territory, instead gaining mush of their heaviness from a brutal pick attack and hooky, circle pit riffs. It’s an important factor that helps the album keep ticking, the sound always inviting and even a little addictive, to the point where six minute track “Coward’s Death” doesn’t outstay its welcome. Sustaining the fun over a track this long is perhaps the best evidence of the band’s tight songwriting abilities, which shine through on the strong tonal foundation, resulting in a collection of perfectly crafted anthems.
The Decay Of Mankind may clear the room at cocktail parties, but the album itself has more than enough swagger and spirit to keep the party going on your own when everyone who can’t handle it has left. You can get the party started with “Tomorrow” embedded below, and keep it going with the rest of the album on Emerging Chaos’ Bandcamp.