Last Call Chernobyl
Drowning Beneath the Sound of Change
The call of progressive death metal
Last Call Chernobyl are a progressive death metal band from Halifax (Nova Scotia) that formed in 2007. They perform the frantic psychosis of technical death metal along with more melodic licks that balance out the crazy side. Taking elements from metalcore to doom to death and progressive metal they try to bring something original, and their debut lives up to that promise. The opening track is a blistering death metal track with great Dying Fetus influenced drumming; that 'tappity' sound is hard to hear these days. The guitars are either lightning quick or slow down to formulate slower, doomier passages. Vocals are bitter and dark growls in the vein of deathcore, but fortunately have some tone to them to make them sound dynamic rather than just flat and tired. The track weaves itself back and forth through melodies that would make any melodic metal fan proud, and fortunately there aren't any keyboards to make it too cheesy.
Other notable tracks are "For Fear of Falling" which starts out with some melodic string pickings and then launches into the thicker death metal. The chords are extremely choppy and chugging as the band focuses more on delivering a grinding track than a progressive, wild one. "Drowning Beneath the Sound..." is a very quiet track featuring only a few picked strings but is very haunting and a fitting interlude for what is about to come. "Eris features some more extreme technical death metal and "Burden of Dreams" is a groove fused track that features plenty of aggressive vocal work and electrified guitars.
There's no denying that Last Call Chernobyl's strength lies in their technical layering and precision to deliver notes that sound completely out of this world but at the same time are easily understood. The progressive elements add an extra layer of melody to soften the blows from the death metal side, and even that part is enjoyable. While the group may not be the wildest band on the block for 2010, Drowning Beneath the Sound of Change is a thought-provoking album that never stays static and keeps delivering bombshell after bombshell track with melody and brutality all in one square package.
(Diminished Fifth Records)