Sorizon – Thanatos Rising (Self-Released)

Monday, 15th March 2021
Rating: 9/10

Active for 13 years and releasing two previous full-lengths and two EP’s, Sorizon calls Orange County, California home and have been positioning themselves well as a progressive metal act. Incorporating a mixture of influences that allow them to play with darker/blackened bills just as easily as conventional melodic power/progressive bands, it’s evident that the quintet want to step up their presentation, sound, and final product to that next level with their third album Thanatos Rising. When taking in this record, the attention to smaller details pays long-term dividends as far as retention, excitement, and energy for the listener – applying what has been developed from past experience into the strongest outing to date.

The track order and flow of this twelve-track effort possesses the right ebbs and flows, an almost cinematic scope that can carry atmosphere up and down the register of heaviness and melodic passages. Guitarists Danny Mann and Tim Hall execute the power chords and exhilarating leads with finesse and ferocity, injecting the right twin harmonies or thrilling lead breaks that serve the purpose of each song on hand. The lower tremolo activities against shimmering mid-tempo harmonies make the Queensrÿche meets Into Eternity-like title track an instant headbanging delight, while the galloping Maiden-esque thrash maneuvers for the follow-up “A Distant Echo” set up the melodic/savage roar duality of Keith McIntosh into rarified air where people can handle the modern/death angles against those Symphony X-ish delivery of notes. Those who love additional sonic samples against brutal melodic death sophistication will enjoy the drop on a dime mood shift during “Lost in a Dream”, while the uplifting progressive lilt on the closer “Worth and Wisdom” contains a bit of Teutonic spirit, even if the contrasting chorus may send a different message. Throughout the record Sorizon blends a sound together that can be modern, heavy, progressive, and a bit thrashy/death-oriented when called for – Scar Symmetry followers may dig some of the bellows against the driving rhythms for “Prisoner to Yourself”, while the introspective acoustic guitar touches give “Destined for Despair” some Dio-era Black Sabbath meets Nevermore textures before the electric squeals and ominous, twisted rhythms crush all comers.

Add in killer cover art from renowned metal artist Eliran Kantor and the self-produced mechanisms that make Sorizon gain a stronger, thicker sonic output that still shapes all the right edges for hooks, melodies, and harmonies and its easy to understand how Thanatos Rising can stand up next to the best works of Symphony X, Into Eternity, Trivium, Evergrey, and Bay Area thrash.

Sorizon official website