Monday, September 1, 2008

Review: Canobliss - Psychothermia (2008)

Canobliss [ Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter ]
Psychothermia
(2008)
self-released

San Diego isn't exactly known for producing highly successful metal outfits (As I Lay Dying being the most "mainstream" band from there these days), but there have been some notables over the years - Cage, Cattle Decapitation, and Benedictum just to name a few. Lurking in the underground since the late '90s has been Canobliss, a progressive thrash five-piece that just might have what it takes to be the next big name out of San Diego. Formed over a decade ago by guitarist Samson Pedroza and bass player Chenzo Vidalez, Canobliss has released three albums prior to this year's EP Psychothermia.

It's immediately evident that the members of Canobliss aim to be taken seriously. Psychothermia is a well-crafted release, everything from the professional grade production job to the compelling artwork reveals the bands high level of commitment. Ultimately, though, it's the music that makes or breaks a band. Canobliss strive for a very progressive strain of thrash metal that can be rightfully compared to bands such as Tool (particularly on the title track), System of a Down, and to a lesser extant Coheed & Cambria. The song structures are complex, incorporating multiple time signatures, intricate riffs, and angered solos. Frontman Johan Maldonado is an excellent find for the band, coming on board in 2006. He blends a clean, very emotive style with harsh outbursts to consistently deliver a gripping performance. Successfully executing each of the various elements heard on Psychothermia is no small feat, and to nail them all underscores the talent of Canobliss.

As I mentioned earlier, "Psychothermia" exudes a distinctive Tool influence. Aside from that track, the members of Canobliss manage to keep their influences subdued by incorporating the best of each with their own style to create a sound that is both unique and familiar. While each track is built around separate and distinct elements, there remains a common thread that ties them together and results in a cohesive album. From Mike Russo's furious snare and Maldonado's semi-hardcorish barks on "Slingshot" to the Spanish-themed leads on "Adios", Psychothermia is a remarkable album that I highly recommend to fans of complex metal. Keep your eye on these guys.





Track Listing
1 Notorious 3:44
2 Psychothermia 5:22
3 Convicted Again 4:11
4 Adios 4:17
5 Take Vics 3:48
6 Slingshot 3:35
7 Pangea 5:32
8 Convicted Again [Radio Edit] 4:12
Total Runtime 34:41



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