'Cutthroat Melodies' rated 8/10 on Sweden's Global Domination webzine!
"Well well well, didn’t this turn out to be a grower? Quite unexpectedly too, I must say. All the signs that this was going to be a record to be slammed are here. Let’s face it, it’s:
A) a label send, and we all know that more than 50% of the CDs we get sent here fucken suck it.
B) the band has a shit name, particularly to someone from Australia. Mention Chain Reaction to an Aussie my age and the first thing they’ll think of is the crappy John Farnham hit. Yes, that song was a massive hit. It’s our national shame.
B) it’s not something that impressed me one iota upon my first listen. In fact, at first listen I though this was quite dull. Two or three listens later, I thought: “Man, I could not have been more wrong.”
Chain Reaction, hailing from Poland, came with the description “classic thrash with a modern edge”. The modern edge referred to is not doubt the oozes of groove and a smattering of blues, and it’s that bluesy influence that really gives this album the edge. While a lot of the modern day thrash/groove acts imitate the scene setters such as Pantera and Machine Head, Chain Reaction have taken a slightly different direction with their sound to make something that does actually sound unique. Yes, they have a lot of traditional thrash riffery. Yes, there’s plenty of groove breakdowns. I know it sounds like what a hundred other bands out there are doing, but this album has a fantastic blues infusion to really make it tick.
The vocal performance on this album suits the music perfectly. Barton’s voice is quite unique and does take a listen or two to enjoy, but never does he sound out of place. While Barton takes multiple approaches, ranging from yells, growls and cleanly sung choruses, his core husky singing really rounds out the sound of the band. His mixed style is not out of place either, and he picks the right moments for the right style. I did mention cleanly sung choruses, which don’t slot in on all tracks, but on those he does (mostly on the second half of the album), it’s tremendously catchy and melodic. There are other moments where aggression is at the forefront, and here too he delivers the goods with growls and yells.
The production on the album is spot on the mark too. As expected with this kind of work, a big guitar sound is present. I love a big guitar sound. Ever since Machine Head’s classic “Burn My Eyes” it’s been that way (I never fail to get a boner on that album). “Cutthroat Melodies” has a great guitar sound, giving ample backing to the grooves and crunches of the guitars.
All in all, I’m damn impressed. At first listen I thought this album was pretty generic, but a few listens later the fucken hooks sank in. Deep. If you like groove-driven thrash this band is one you need to check out. At the end of the day it’s the blues influence that really won me over to them. Interchanging between massive grooves and crunches to catchy choruses that you’ll find yourself singing along to, this is a damn fine album." [Revenant]