Monday, April 16, 2012

Echidna - Dawn Of The Sociopath

Echidna
Dawn Of The Sociopath
Rastilho Records

It took several years for Portuguese outfit Echidna to finally get around to releasing their debut effort ‘Insidious Awakening’ (Released in 2008 through Rastilho Records), but the wait proved to be worth it, with the band earning considerable acclaim in both their home territory and throughout the world. But despite their success, Echidna decided to take their time before rushing into releasing a second full-length effort – instead focussing on ensuring that their song writing was refined, and the sound they pictured in their mind could actually be transferred onto their new album.
Not surprisingly, three years passed by before the band was ready to finally unveil their latest effort ‘Dawn Of The Sociopath’. And even less surprising is that Echidna’s latest effort is a big step up from their debut.
Armed with a new line-up (Ex-Breed Destruction front man Bruno Capela has replaced Pedro ‘Frik’ Fonseca, and joins guitarists Pedro Lima and David Doutel, bassist/vocalist Miguel Pinto and drummer Tiago Cardoso) and a bold conceptualised storyline to accompany their new release (The album charts the growth and gradual downward spiral of a sociopath), ‘Dawn Of The Sociopath’ isn’t exactly the most original sounding release, but definitely a strong release that showcases the growth the death/thrash metal outfit have made over the last three years.
After an obligatory short instrumental track (‘Synaptic Entropy’), the band gets right down to business with ‘The Antagonist’, which is a track where the guitarists demonstrate their abilities to churn out some punishing riffs and flesh out their designated solo passages with some memorable shred work, and Capela’s deep seated growls that show no remorse in their brutality.
‘Violent Compulsion’ is another strong song writing effort that brings to mind some Pantera and Lamb Of God influences in its riff constructions, albeit delivered in a distinctly death metal fashion, while songs such as aggressive sounding ‘Commanded By Demons’, the Meshuggah tinged ‘Obscuring My Reason’ (Which is preceded by the short interlude ‘Ágon’), the thrash like title track ‘Dawn Of The Sociopath’ and The Haunted-like closing effort ‘The Fallout’ (Which is again preceded to the spoken word interlude ‘Catharsis’) represent the best of what Echidna have to offer on their latest effort.
Echidna isn’t going to win any awards for their originality. But what they lack in that department, they more than make up for in strong song writing, masterful musicianship and consistency. Those qualities alone make ‘Dawn Of The Sociopath’ worthy of checking out.

For more information on Echidna, check out - http://www.reverbnation.com/echidna

© Justin Donnelly