Written by: Blackie Skulless
Charonyx are an Indianapolis-based thrash metal band that have been around for nearly a decade. Being one of the many projects of frontman Max Barber, their releases are rather sparse, but often worth the wait. Their 2019 debut full-length The Ultimate Judas was a serviceable enough dose of thrash metal, but it’s this year's EP Persistent Soul that actually hooked me. In a world of constant thrash by the numbers, hearing something a little more unique is refreshing.
Naturally, its strengths lie in the combination of advanced song construction with several faces meeting a very precise mixing and transitional style. Cleaner vocal approaches meeting growls work as the main ingredient over bubbly bass hooks paired with tech-thrashy chops. You’d be hard pressed to say it moves into death metal territory, but these harsher sections mold into the cracks of the melody-drenched areas better than you’d expect. Packing all of this into a rather short release is if nothing else, impressive.
Five songs that cross the five minute mark (save for one) are needed to elaborate on so many angles. A variety of moods being offered is just the ticket, such as the centerpiece titled “Radical Sense Of Mind.” This one cooks up an eerie atmosphere with its soft but unsettling intro, before unfolding into tech-thrash territory and a gang-chanted chorus. I’ll admit, I prefer the powerful and concise vocal style that dominates opener “Structure Of Demise” with its Joey Belladonna-esque clarity, but it all works together nicely and both approaches fit the different musical outlets. At times, things can feel a little overwhelming, yet I can’t deny the amount of focus that’s shown.
Channeling every idea laid down in Persistent Soul would make for a great Charonyx full-length follow-up. Injecting just a dash more of cooler passages found in the first song and chill vibrance of the closing title track would balance everything perfectly. Doing a lot with a little room is a strong feat, especially with this kind of… persistence. Any fan of classic thrash that likes a small side of growling or advanced construction should give this a try.
Charonyx - Persistent Soul was released May 19th, 2023. Find it here!
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