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Anonymous has been the underdog of the big Montreal band’s for way too long. Although they have as many studio albums as Cryptopsy (more if you include the collaboration with Mononc Serge called L’Académie du Massacre), they were pegged early on as a “French” band because they have multilingual lyrics. People often wonder why metal bands from all over the world all sing in English, well this is why; you get pigeonholed culturally if you don’t and can’t break the boundaries of your locality. While this can be alright for more commercial artists (Quebec does have 6 million inhabitants) who get lots of radio play, underground metal bands really need farther reaching exposure to make any kind of money.
So... Anonymous has finally brought us the album that could do that for them. Chapter Chaos Begins is a no-holds-barred death/thrash assault. These guys have learned what they do best, and have harnessed it. Crushing riffs, demonic drums, solid leads, and full-speed ahead pissed-off vocals. Even having lost guitarist Marco Calliari to his folk/Italian project, this album is Anonymous’ heaviest ever and their most consistently solid arguably since Stress.
Kataklysm’s JF Dagenais took the reigns for production, and it shows. The resemblances in sound between CCB and Kataklysm’s newest release, In the Arms of Devastation, are striking. Although it kind of makes Anonymous seem like Kataklysm’s little brother, this style of 100% tight and brutal production completely suits them. The guitars especially have benefited over their older material.
Anonymous still has obstacles despite the quality of this release. Galy Records made a very strange choice at releasing and marketing it right alongside Martyr’s Feeding the Abscess. Although both bands have a similar cult following in Montreal, Anonymous unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to Martyr in terms of technicality. This means that if a kid has twenty bucks in his pocket and has the choice between those two albums, there’s a good chance he’ll sample them and be more immediately impressed with Martyr. I think that sucks, because they are very different bands and are each good at what they do.
I hope that isn’t what happens to Anonymous. I would love to see them rise and become an international success. Chapter Chaos Begins is brutal and flows through all the way ‘till the end with no throw-away tracks. If you like headbangin’ thrash with the power of death metal, please help these guys out and buy this record.
Canada's Anonymus seemed to have fed their musical interests on a steady diet of early 90's San Francisco Bay thrash with SLAYER and TESTAMENT being the meat and potatoes, and KATAKLYSM consumed as a side dish. "Chapter Chaos Begins" is a demonstration on how to fuse the best metal from the early 1990s and the various styles birthed during that period.
The title track and album opener starts in a similar fashion to Nevermore's "The Seven Tongues of God" with the band striking a couple notes, letting those notes ring out, and then doing it again, like a drag racer revving up his engine before a race. What comes next seems pulled out of nowhere. The trio comes at you full force, blasting away on the drums and picking with a furious abandon. These moments of brutal grind seem as if the group is trying to emulate fellow Canadians, Kataklysm. As they bust out the raging speed so early into the album, listeners may believe this is another Canadian grind band, only in part. The next section consists of raging Thrash, sang with abrasive, Robert Flynn-style vocals. Double bass and guitar harmonies support the group's clean choral arraignment further into the song.
The next track "I am Addicted" is my favorite. This track moves with a thrashing rhythm recalling Testament's "Trial by Fire". Anonymus' vocals are every bit as diverse as the music. "I am Addicted" is a perfect example of their legion of voices. The album's liner notes credits all three members as vocalists, so that may answer how they pull this off. "I am Addicted" sounds like Tom Araya from Slayer and Chuck Billy from Testament alternating their vocals from verse to verse. "Fonce Ou Creve" unveils a style I have never heard before, French Canadian Hardcore. Hard core vocals with a Brooklyn, New York accent are commonplace, but with a French accent? This is a new one to me, but it works.
"Chapter Chaos Begins" is a fun album. Listeners could make a game out of what style Anonymus is going to pull out next, what singer do they sound like or where from where do you think they borrowed inspiration for a riff? The multi personalities they bring to each song are only part of what makes this album such a great listen. The catchiness and expert production (Jean-Francois Dagenais of Kataklysm fame) are other notable attributes. Anonymus are without a doubt in the upper echelon of modern Thrash.