Cross-overs between thrash metal and power/heavy metal seem to have become popular lately. In a way, of course, they always were, but at Archaic Triad there’s been a notable increase of such mish-mashes in the ever expanding pile of promos. Recently, we had a look at Agresiva, and now the time has come for the latest release on Dave Rotten’s Xtreem Music. Eruption is a Slovenian outfit which has been around since the mid 2000’s. Cloaks of Oblivion is their third proper full length album.
Once again, just like in the Agresiva review, this album brings about ample reason to mention the Doomsday News compilations of the late 80’s. There is thrash, there is heavy, there is power, and very often there’s a little of everything at the same time. What little I’ve heard of Eruption before also contained a healthy mix of styles, but then rather of Bay Area and German thrash metal. The heavy metal and otherwise more purely melodic elements are far more prominent this time around. And it works.
A list of comparisons and references could be endless. There are still much of Destruction, Ritual-era Testament, Tankard and what have you to be heard, but heavy metal like Sanctuary (US) and even power metal like Angra also play major roles in the sound. Sometimes more traditional heaviness shines through – there are parts bringing recent Maiden to mind, and faint traces of Manowar rearing its shaved chest ever so often.
There is a decent diversity in the sound, and if the development towards a broader sound may be off-putting to some hardcore thrash heads, it also removes any sense of “retro” or style reproduction for the sake of style reproduction. Present favorite track “Drones” has some spiritual affinities to Voivod’s “Cockroaches”, and while the sound is far more digestible, it still has enough rough edges not to feel like some kind of sell-out. That goes for the entire album: despite the comparatively large difference in direction when you compare this to the previous album Tenses Collide, there is a real sense of organic development here. Furthermore, there are some almost shocking, innovative passages to keep even the more jaded metal head interested – check out the melodic blast beats in “The Yearning” for a great example of this.
Anyone into metal, and not too picky with exact genre boundaries, will love Cloaks of Oblivion. The lyrics are clever, the production is crisp but heavy, and with its classic riffing and concise guitar solos, the album as a whole oozes of proper, no-BS headbanging.