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Corrosive Elements - Toxic Waste Blues

Corrosive Elements
Toxic Waste Blues
by Kyle Harding at 03 September 2016, 1:32 PM

When a band releases something with the word “blues” in the title, or something to that effect, I fully expect them to lay out that sad, defeated depth in a song with that feeling of humbling despair. Too often do some groups use this kind of image as a novelty rather than stay true to its meaning so, naturally, I went into the new CORROSIVE ELEMENTS album, “Toxic Waste Blues”, with high expectations. And they delivered. Though the band primarily self-identifies as “Death Thrash N’ Roll”, these Parisian headbangers provide some insane riffs and speedy rhythms with a dash of that old school southern gloom in their recipe for destruction, just enough to pay homage to the grandfathered style while claiming the sound their own.

When it comes to Death Metal, I’m always on the lookout for something at least slightly innovative that individualizes the particular band, and CORROSIVE ELEMENTS does just that. Though the guitars by Yves Pene and Tarik Usciati are heavy and brutal, they’re also technical and driving, supplemented by Thomas Humbert’s rattling bass always present and never hidden in the final mix. Rachid Trabelsi’s drumming is comparably technical, which adds an odd, yet satisfying rhythm syncopation with the instruments. Brice Moreau’s growls resonate in a unique way, though harsh, they’re enunciated and somewhat verbally clear, a balance many vocalists don’t seem to find in their craft, or even bother to explore.

Toxic Waste Blues” begins out very Thrashy with “Burn the Preachers”. The song gives us a clear example on the fundamentals of their Death-Thrash, with some maddeningly-fast drumming and unrelenting string work. The tune itself is simple, but the appropriate way to start any album. Though their trademarked Blues-Death-Thrash isn’t quite apparent yet, we do get a quick whiff of it on the next track, “Destructive Cult”. It goes from a kind of blackened tone to the diminished chord progressions that we’re so familiar with, not to mention the slow, soulful guitar solo to boot.

However, I did get a little distracted by the bass proficiency in the upcoming tunes. Admittedly, I’m a sucker when it comes to solid bass. We pick up speed and go into 5th gear with “Wrong Turn”, which includes one hell of a bass feature with heavy taps along the thick fretboard, rolling into blast beats and waves of sonic thunder. By why stop there? We get more of this flavor with “A Premium Carnage”, which opens with a similar bass-slamming intro. But I’m reminded of what I’m here for as the Blues comes out from hiding, increasing in its prominence as we move through the album.

Toxic Waste Blues” progresses with a similar mode of Death-Thrash, but the Blues meter is cranked up all the way to 11 when we hit “Oppression” which, strangely enough, starts out like a classic ALICE COOPER song on steroids. The tune runs with a totally original guitar riff and makes the brilliant connection between Blues and Metal, transitioning flawlessly between the two. The tempo changes on a dime and alternates to emphasize the two styles, but exposes their similarities at the same time. But these two fully merge together in the title track, which turns out to be a kind of Deathly Groove Metal. It’s got my approval! Not to mention there’s a quick, old-fashioned battle between the bass and guitar, ripping and rattling with twangs and bends as well as scales and shreds.

Death Metal wrapped in Thrash riffs and topped with a blue bow- this is something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed as a fan of Blues and metal alike, though those worlds have always been a little separate for me. We all know this old art of expressing the frustrations of life led to the birth of rock n roll which, in turn, led to the birth of Metal. It’s this kind of songwriting and performing that exposes the connection between the two worlds and brings them together in such a beautiful way. Like the rebellious grandson sitting on the porch with his grandfather, learning life lessons and sharing ideas, so does this music not only draw strengths from its ancestors, but offers something new and unique.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Burn the Preachers
2. Destructive Cult
3. Wrong Turn
4. A Premium Carnage
5. The Awakening
6. He Dwells in the Abyss
7. Misanthropy
8. Libertas Mortiis
9. Warpath
10. Oppression
11. Toxic Waste Blues
12. Warmongers (Merchants of Death)
Brice Moreau - Vocals
Yves Pene - Guitar
Thomas Humbert - Bass
Tarik Usciati - Guitar
Rachid Travelsi - Drums
Record Label: GreyveStorm Productions


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