Continuum – Chronophobe (Self-Released)

Monday, 2nd December 2019
Rating: 9/10

Continuing to deliver an aural whirlwind of groove-based progressive thrash/death, Connecticut’s Continuum appease underground metal listeners who want dynamic variety and versatility when it comes to their material. Chronophobe is the quintet’s latest offering, a four-song EP that contains the right amount of energy, aggression, angst, hooks, and melodies to keep consumers mesmerized and returning for more. The title of the EP is a derivation of chronophobia – defined as the fear of the passing of time, or a hyper awareness of one’s own mortality or insignificance. Heady stuff indeed and appropriate lyrical content to match the brooding, thick riffs, spirited bass/drum combinations, and scathing vocal contrasts that can be clean and melodic one line, then conjuring screams from hell spawn the next.

Each song contains it’s own unique atmosphere and driving spirit – the standout track on initial runs being the title cut, a doom-infused power number featuring very measured clean guitars at the beginning and end plus a ripping electric down-tuned riff main foundation with pounding, slithering tempo support as if conjuring up the best of Nevermore, Type O Negative, and 90’s-period Overkill. Vocalist Brenda St. Amant especially channels her triple threat growl/scream/clean attack to razor sharp measures – wrenching every emotion out of her lyrics and delivery to make you feel lines such as ‘this bitter pain has come to eat me alive’ or ‘life is like a bullet from a gun’. Whereas opener “Tides” takes on a similar roller coaster furious to mid-tempo and back arrangement as last EP’s “Dogs of War” – drummer Darrin Yardley maneuvering from blasting to progressive doom measures without losing the plot as guitarists Jason Niezgorski and Bryan Reilly lay down some sick thrash/death riffs and intricate, fluid lead breaks. When the band wants to lay into a groove, they don’t sacrifice building out the heavier or speed movements to keep ears pinned – check out “Overlord” for some sick swinging transitions as Brenda moves from her alluring alternative chill inducing melodic voice to roars from below. If there’s only one complaint, it’s that the eighteen minutes and change of content feels like it’s never enough – Continuum at a point in their career where they deserve to be on a reputable label delivering full-length product on a consistent basis.

Chronophobe keeps Continuum as a premiere act for those who love multi-genre metal bands that profess affinity for death, thrash, progressive, and groove-oriented music – knowledgeable, heavy, and highly infectious and entertaining.

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