Noneuclid - Metatheosis
Blood Music
Progressive Thrash Metal, Avant-Garde
10 songs (1:07:52)
Release year: 2014
Bandcamp
Reviewed by Goat

Not, as you might have guessed from that disturbing artwork, some freakish black/death/noise hybrid a la Teitanblood, Germany's Noneuclid instead play an interesting and original form of thrash metal. Made up of side members of acts as diverse as Triptykon, Dark Fortress, and Obscura, the four musicians here are well-experienced and deserving of your respect. Metatheosis is only the band's second release in their ten years of existence, and those few aware of debut The Crawling Chaos in 2006 (not including me, sadly) will be delighted. Yet they shouldn't be the only ones; it's always a pleasure to come across bands that take thrash in new and exciting directions, and this album is packed full of ideas and experiments, from a sixteen-minute epic to four-minute stompers.

Where this album stumbles is in the translation of these ideas into great songs, which isn't always perfect. Take the three-part triptych of Into the Light, which moves from 70s prog dementia in the first part through weird groovy meandering in the second, ending with Gojira-esque sci-fi pulverising in the third. It verges on at the avant-garde at moments; fiercely obtuse to casual listeners but clearly constructed with skill and never less than interesting. If you're the type to dismiss music that is the opposite of easy listening, then this will seem quite pretentious, and it's hard to justify when the album is already well over an hour in length. Speaking of weaknesses, let's also quickly gloss over the vocals, too, which are an awkward mix of Devin Townsend and Mille Petrozza, and never quite seem to fit the music as they should...

I'd urge you to stick with it, however, despite the negatives, as this is still one of the most interesting new thrash albums I've heard in a while. Even when at its most blunt and basic, the likes of To The Zombievores have an intensity and doomy vigour to their riffs that will be familiar to Triptykon fans, and Paranoid Alkaloid positively writhes with atmosphere between the crunchy riffing, even managing an epic acoustic flourish. Cult of One is probably the best track present, distilling the band's aggressive and progressive tendencies well, although Buried Forever is a good thrash epic that is spoilt slightly by a build-up that is just too long. The aforementioned sixteen-minute closer None So Lucid (no relation to Cryptopsy!) is harder to defend, with its passages of experimental ambience and yelling, although it is strangely growing on me.

It's that sort of album, ultimately; listen if you like your metal challenging and different and you may well find its charm keeps it on your playlist. It can't help but seem like an experiment rather than a fully-realised album, however, and should be approached with caution. But please do try this, I can see a lot of people liking this and rating it higher than my conservative score below. Listen via the band's bandcamp, link above, where this album of flawed genius is available on a 'pay what you like' basis.

Killing Songs :
Paranoid Alkaloid, Cult of One, Into the Light pt 3, To The Zombievores
Goat quoted 65 / 100
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