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A Directionless Rocket into Space - 65%

EpitomeOfPantalgia, January 25th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Independent

First off, let's just say that Euphoria are all very skilled at their instruments. This release sees a bunch of people quite proficient at their craft coming out of the gates with some pretty ambitious ideas, however, it does seem as if throughout this record that they've bitten off a little more than they can chew.

Dropping a concept album from the get-go is a pretty ambitious move, especially for a band as new as Euphoria. The music presented here is well crafted and cleanly produced, but something about it really does seem to lack. There is a definite lack of "balls" to this recording. With the vocals, I can't help but want to the relentless attack of Sadus and Aspid, however, what I'm left with is something that is a little too close to Darkest Hour and other American metalcorists to really get comfortable with.

The guitarists have an accomplished sense of melody, which is evident, but can't seem to stop laying down melodic lines long enough to give you a riff that makes you want to headbang. Occasionally you get a real banger that sinks its teeth in, only to lose it again in an aimless see of directionless riffing that seems to serve the purpose of showing off chops rather than to showcase any real sort of feeling.

Speaking of feeling, this recording's sterility totally neuters it of any. As with most "cosmic" music, this album is clean to the point of being completely devoid of any balls (did I mention that bass is almost completely indecipherable? Where is the LOW END?!)

So, while Euphoria may be very ambitious on their debut, they need to up the aggression if they want to keep headbangers interested. Here there are plenty of nice melodies and "thoughtful" songwriting but very few moments that seem to kick ass AND maintain their momentum (a good example is the build up in Primordial Dominance dead-ending into a slew of Pantera-style riffing).

Good luck to these dudes in the future, as there is a lot of great potential, but for now they need to focus on making sure all of those twists and turns actually go somewhere.

This operation was an overwhelming success - 96%

slayrrr666, September 19th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Independent

Despite initially forming in 2012, Detroit thrashers fully came together in January 2016 when the demise of local crust/thrash band Axe Ripper brought the bands’ line-up to completion and insured plenty of ravenous live-gigs to hone their craft. Quickly ushered into the studio, their debut full-length depicting a concept album of an alien race attempting to wipe out humanity by overheating the Earth’s core was initially independently-released May 19, 2016.

Despite the rapid acceleration of the bands’ schedule, there’s very little signs of that here with this one readily showcasing a far more frantic and vicious assault than what would be expected of a band this early in their development. The tight, dexterous riffing is primarily centered around the typical Bay-Area crunch with a much more pronounced and obvious technical skill-set, offering up the same propulsive drive usually associated in these sections which manages to enhance the the utterly furious riff-work that ranges from a steady mid-tempo gallop to a frantic full-throttle charge. Graced with these technically-challenging riffing and a strong sense of melodic firepower both in a strong set of accents to the main thrashing riffing and the dexterous soloing that carries itself off incredibly well by merging the boundless thrashing with plenty of appealing melodic beats sprinkled amongst the bands’ work. Though the band is rather accomplished and successful with their technicality displayed here which is quite obvious and just this short from being labeled progressive, it does the band in on a few occasions where it seemingly goes on too long either letting the riff explore plenty of erstwhile but overall useless tangents or just going through drawn-out extended sections that make for a slightly overlong experience than what is really necessary which pops up most frequently on the second half. Still, that’s a minor spot here compared to the great work established elsewhere.

Though there’s a few areas where it could’ve been slightly trimmed up a touch and held back in others, the fact that this is still a wholly fiery and viciously energetic blast of old-school inspired thrash that it manages to overcome those quite easily giving this one a ton of appeal to old-school thrashers or revivalist aficionados looking for some enjoyable bursts of the genre.