Athrox is an Italian metal band creating an ear grabbing roar from the heavy and thrash strains of the genre and Are You Alive? is their debut album showing plenty of reasons as to why the band is beginning to create a stir. Their sound is not particularly unique, it is probably fair to say, yet each song on their new release rewards ears with a fresh and fiery proposal easy to find a healthy appetite for.
Officially formed in the summer of 2014, Athrox was the brainchild of guitarist Sandro “Syro” Seravalle and drummer Alessandro “Aroon” Brandi who had already worked together across various musical projects since 2008. Swiftly the pair recruited guitarist Francesco “Frank” Capitoni and bassist Andrea “Lobo” Capitani with the band’s line-up completed the following year with the addition of vocalist Giancarlo “Ian” Picchianti. 2015 also saw the band settling down to hone their sound and write the songs now gracing Are You Alive?; a concept album looking at the problems that afflict humanity such as war and the suffering of children caught within and the free thought enslaving control of mass media. “Are You Alive? a rhetorical question that we send to people, all people slave of this corrupt society.”
The Grosseto hailing band opens the album up with Losing Your Gods, a short atmosphere setting instrumental as portentous as it is a potent invitation into the release. Straight away, the thrash inspired side of the band’s sound and adventure stirs up the appetite, feeding it further with Frozen Here. The second track throws up a great incitement of hungry riffs and badgering rhythms from the start, spicy grooves and sonic enterprise entangling that robust spine of the song soon after. Vocally Picchianti is a match to the evolution and enjoyable creative moods of the sound around him; at times a growling antagonist and within a breath uncaging a more traditional heavy metal delivery.
Its varied landscape is replaced by the turbulence of battle for Warstorm; a Metallica meets Iron Maiden like confrontation as enjoyable in its aggressive animosity as it is in the melodic reflection which skilfully tempers the fury. It is a common trait of Are You Alive?, the merging of contrasting intensities, emotions, and flavours; a blend providing each song with individual yet similarly determined characters that becomes a rousing incitement and one of the album’s biggest triumphs in this particular moment.
Gates Of Death stalks ears and imagination next. Straight away it prowls the senses with an intimidating and intriguing air as riffs and rhythms venomously collude while fiery grooves lay a web for the impressing vocals to share their narrative. As with its predecessors, there is a real drama to the sound and its presence too which as much as anything goes a long way to creating a powerful persuasion emulated once again in the suggestive melodic croon of Remember The Loneliness. Warm yet melancholic from its first breath, the track brews a more tempestuous climate over time which eventfully sparks an anthemic thrash fuelled canter easy to get a touch greedy for. This is just the first movement of the excellent encounter though, the song continuing to swing through an array of creative and emotionally fired attacks from melodic seducing to volatile ferocity.
Through the melodic serenade of Pretend You and the corrosive ferociousness of My Downfall, band and album keeps attention gripped as raw flames of balladry and senses wilting energy respectively consume ears. The second of the two is another more thrash favoured proposal and for personal tastes, they are the tracks within Are You Alive? which stir the strongest reactions of pleasure though no song leaves enjoyment a shallow pool.
A great Testament feel tones the following Waiting For The Eden as it uncages another bullish challenge of fearsome rhythms and spiky riffs within an acidic weave of juicy grooves and sonic enticing. Within this an ear pleasing vine of individual guitar prowess writhes across the song’s flavoursome canvas and a success swiftly matched by that of the feverish End Of Days which leaves the body breathless and hungry for more by its close before the album’s title track steals attention with its own raw and magnetic blaze of ravenous rock ‘n’ roll.
The album is brought to a close by the melodic tempting of Obsession, a last showing of the variety colouring songs and release as a whole within its heavy metal seeded soundscape of voice and captivating sound and a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable proposition. As suggested Are You Alive? is woven from familiar aural threads and textures but only presents an ear pleasing proposal which might just be a game changer for Athrox in regard to wider found attention.
Are You Alive? is out now via Red Cat Records @ http://www.redcatpromotion.com/ita_store.html and across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 20/04/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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