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Hemotoxin - When Time Becomes Loss review




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Band: Hemotoxin
Album: When Time Becomes Loss
Style: Progressive thrash metal
Release date: May 2024


01. Morbid Reflection
02. Call From The Abyss
03. Malediction
04. Abstract Commands
05. Concious Descent
06. Reborn In Tragedy
07. When Time Becomes Loss

A prog thrash band with influences of Death and Vektor. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

The year 2023 was an excellent year for thrash metal, showcasing bands such as Hellripper, Exmortus, Necropanther, and Demoniac (CHL), to name but a few. Especially prominent and entertaining for me were those thrash acts that dabbled in the technical and progressive musical leanings such as Terminalist, Venus, and Hellix.

This year, so far, no thrash metal had really garnered my attention except for the enjoyable death/thrash mix of Dead Head. But, if the emergence of Hemotoxin’s newest album is anything to go by, there's still hope that 2024 could shape up to be an exciting year for thrash as well.

Hemotoxin is a Californian band masterminded by Michael Chavez. After cycling through different line-ups for the past three albums, Chavez now goes for a “complete solo endeavor”, as their Bandcamp page puts it. However, it's not entirely a one-man effort. Hemotoxin’s newest release, When Time Becomes Loss, features Morbid Angel drummer Scott Fuller, as well as three guest musicians who perform guitar solos on several songs: Tony Barhoum of Condition Critical, Andrew Lee of Ripped To Shreds and Donnie Small of Laceration.

The element that first struck me when listening to Hemotoxin was the vocals. Is that the voice of the death metal god speaking from beyond the grave? Sadly, no, but there's no denying how similar those yells sound to Chuck Schuldiner's performance on Death’s Symbolic. It's clear that Hemotoxin are influenced by Death (and they've even made a cover song of “Crystal Mountain”url]). But, while the instrumentation also has prog death tendencies à la Death’s The Sound Of Perseverance, I believe their style also leans in the direction of 2023's Terminalist and Venus, i.e. sounding very much like the high-speed, spacey, progressive musicianship we know from Vektor.

Now, what we all love most about thrash metal are the fast riffs. And Hemotoxin do not disappoint on this front. The quickly-played, dizzying composition of progressive melodies are as colorful as the cover art. The goal for all technical metal musicians is to find a balance between catchy melody and excessive noodling, and I believe Hemotoxin have largely succeeded at that. Together with lyrics of conflicts within mind, body, and soul, this sparkling and swirling instrumentation creates an almost psychedelic listening experience at times. I never get bored with the catchy, inventive guitar-work on display, and the lengthy guest guitar solos are of top-notch quality.

The vocals, on the other hand, become rather tiring as the album progresses. It might be a very subjective view, but I find that the vocals lack a bit of energy overall. Other than resembling Symbolic-era Death, there's not much that's really gripping or impressive about them. Sticking to a constant, same-sounding, slightly-raspy shouting delivery, the vocals would normally be deemed as simply average. Yet, in the context of the entertaining and fresh instrumentation, the bland quality of the vocals is even more apparent, dragging my overall listening experience down a notch.

In conclusion, despite these minor criticisms, When Time Becomes Loss definitely counts among the best thrash metal records of 2024 so far. Like I said, it'll be up to personal taste whether one finds issue with the vocals or not. And, besides, in a subgenre where vocals have normally played second fiddle to the guitar riffs, Hemotoxin’s newest effort should satisfy most thrash fans with all its intricately woven melodies and rapid-fire energy. Clocking in at a runtime of only 28 minutes, When Time Becomes Loss ends, leaving listeners hungry for more.






Written on 30.05.2024 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 64 users
30.05.2024 - 18:20
Rating: 9
Guib
Thrash Talker
Alright, alright F3ynman, I'm convinced. A progressive thrash band heavily influenced by death, I'm sold. Also your criticism on the vocals will probabiy be a non-issue for me. Gonna check that out, thanks for the review. You usually have great taste in thrash metal.
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- Headbanging with mostly clogged arteries to that stuff -
Guib's List Of Essential Albums
- Also Thrash Paradise
Thrash Here
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30.05.2024 - 19:21
Rating: 8
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Quote:
When Time Becomes Loss definitely counts among the best thrash metal records of 2024 so far

We haven't seen good thrash releases so far. I like the new Hemotoxin, but still it is not mind-blowing.
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30.05.2024 - 19:29
Rating: 7
F3ynman
Nocturnal Bro
Contributor
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 30.05.2024 at 19:21

Quote:
When Time Becomes Loss definitely counts among the best thrash metal records of 2024 so far

We haven't seen good thrash releases so far. I like the new Hemotoxin, but still it is not mind-blowing.

Yeah, it's the best of an OK-level batch. I agree, not on the same level as last year so far
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30.05.2024 - 19:39
Rating: 8
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Written by F3ynman on 30.05.2024 at 19:29

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 30.05.2024 at 19:21

Quote:
When Time Becomes Loss definitely counts among the best thrash metal records of 2024 so far

We haven't seen good thrash releases so far. I like the new Hemotoxin, but still it is not mind-blowing.

I agree, not on the same level as last year so far

Very strong year. If we roll out 4-5 good releases this year, it will still considered to be fairly good year for thrash.
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30.05.2024 - 21:36
Blackcrowe
Hemotoxin its more prog melodic death thrash very original, I like it. In my opinion a lot of Mekong Delta more complex work
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Maybe as his eyes are wide.
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31.05.2024 - 12:10
Batlord666
Have you heard the Dissimulator album? I don't listen to a ton of thrash, but that record absolutely floored me.
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31.05.2024 - 12:42
Rating: 7
F3ynman
Nocturnal Bro
Contributor
Written by Batlord666 on 31.05.2024 at 12:10

Have you heard the Dissimulator album? I don't listen to a ton of thrash, but that record absolutely floored me.

Ah that's a good reminder. It's in my checklist, but I haven't gotten around to it yet
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31.05.2024 - 12:43
Rating: 8
musclassia
Staff
I'm glad that you took this review from me, as you basically said everything I wanted to say and gave me more time to review some of the other albums I've been struggling to get the time to tackle. I have found this year to be a bit lacking in interesting thrash after last year produced such a strong bunch of albums, but this one really stood out to me; I actually enjoy it about as much as the other intense proggy thrash I've dug from the last few years. The fact that it goes closer to tech-death than most of the other albums in this vein you mentioned helps it stand out a touch more
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