Cholera - Prophecies Of Annihilation

01. Road Into The Fire
02. Enslaved Humanity
03. The Lost Traveler
04. Reminisence
05. Prophecies Of Annihilation

A couple weeks ago Doc Godin asked me if I wanted cholera. I promptly told him to get bent. Fortunately he pressed the issue and explained it was Cholera, the Canadian two-piece band, not the disease. I'm glad he did make that second effort.

Cholera are a bit outside my regular musical review sphere, playing a progressive, technical death metal. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how "death" this band is… I don't hear anything particularly Suffocation or anything here. To me it's a technical, progressive metal band with an aggressive, harsh approach. Not a knock on the band by any stretch, just the labeling process.

The problem I have with prog metal and skilled guitarists is technical gymnastics there merely for technical gymnastics sakes. "Gee mom, look what I can do!" People should do their wankery in private, imbo.

However, with Cholera, it's not that simple. While gymnastic riffs abound, it's not just fretboard diarrhea*. Prophecies Of Annihilation have some power chord mashing, but also feature an onslaught of winding riffs reminiscent of MegaDavE at his early, heroin-induced best. The riffs are hornets buzzing around the brain.

While the compositions are loooooooooong (the first four tracks average about 13 minutes each), they keep from getting bogged down by shifting as they move along. Beyond just stereotypical guitar shredding, the band incorporate keyboards - both in a symphonic support role as well as the occasional prog-style 'lead' and they even break up some of the long tracks by having the floor drop out from underneath. You're riffing and shredding along and suddenly, poof! A stark piano piece like something out of a slasher film or a piano and mello cello section. Changes in course like that are why I refer to the tracks as compositions rather than songs ("Reminiscence" specifically) - as just calling them songs, with the simplistic connotations thereof, wouldn't do them justice. Top in the occasional middle-eastern flourish and you've got something that sets itself apart (and above) the rest of the pack.

Frankly, it is interesting and intriguing.

Vocals are split between a whispered-growl reminiscent of some early Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory) and a clean voice. Both are serviceable, and relatively sparse. The strength of the band is their multi-disciplined musical chops…

The whole package is helped out by the production, which really helps augment the experience. Sounds good without sounding overly slick or polished.

So if you dig music with technical chops and a more cerebral approach, check it out. The style, in general, isn't my cup o' tea, and I never anticipated typing these words, but I'm really glad I got Cholera.

* the band's name is Cholera, how could I NOT toss in a diarrhea reference at some point? Cha-cha-cha.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Written on 02.08.2011 by
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
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The Voyager - 03.08.2011 at 02:43  
Sure wish I could find this someplace. Sounds like something I'd enjoy.
BitterCOld - 03.08.2011 at 02:54  
Written by The Voyager on 03.08.2011 at 02:43

Sure wish I could find this someplace. Sounds like something I'd enjoy.

just shot the band an email linking the review to let 'em know it is up. perhaps they will read your plight (a la Sleestak) and pop something up for ya.
The Voyager - 03.08.2011 at 03:16  
Written by BitterCOld on 03.08.2011 at 02:54

just shot the band an email linking the review to let 'em know it is up. perhaps they will read your plight (a la Sleestak) and pop something up for ya.

I can only hope at this point.
Pyramid God - 03.08.2011 at 05:31  
I listened to "Enslaved Humanity" on their myspace player. I liked it a lot. I give it a solid 8 despite obvious production (I disagree with the review) flaws. With some seasoning (particularily with the generic vocals) and a budget I could see these guys being a favorite. Prog death is awesome and these guys show some real potential. I wish them luck in finding a record deal.

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