Wow. Where in the world did this band appear from? Having developed a nice mixture of Death, Melodic Death and Thrash, ESTUARY have returned to stun us with their own take on Death/Thrash and will not be called a DEW-SCENTED clone. After receiving such a good reception to “To Exist And Endure” they have gone back to the drawing boards, in an attempt to write new music without falling prey to trap of destroying the nice balance they have between the two genres. Surprisingly, they have managed to record an album that blows their past releases out of the water, showing maturity beyond their age.
For those who have never heard ESTUARY before, the first thing you will notice is Zdenka Prado’s fantastic vocals. They are quite deep and can be a bit monotonous at times but Ash Thomas’ higher pitch screams and growls seem to balance the vocal arrangement on the tracks. Zdenka’s growls closely resemble that of legendary Frank Mullen from SUFFOCATION but fear not, as unlike countless of SUFFOCATION clones, Zdenka can hold his own against such a figure. Ash’s guitar work is not overly complex and there is a nice connection between the Thrash guitar riffs and the growls. The guitars tend to have a faster tempo whenever Zdenka uses a more stretched growl, something which works well. The drum work by Jesse Wilson is generally more Melodic Death sounding but at times follows the classic Thrash drum pattern, especially on “Cleansed Of All Wisdom”.
“Enduring The Illusion“ opens the album with some rather Black Metalish riffs which would scare the pants off any fans of ESTUARY, but after the nice guitar solo and the electric effects that incites an image of a UFO, “Creation Damnation” lets lose. This is the standout track on the album, showcasing all of ESTUARY’s talents. “A Disease Called Dogma” is a catchy and speedy track, packed with blastbeats and a simple, yet effective guitar solo and changing time signatures. There is no doubt that ESTUARY have a lot of skill in creating cohesive music.
ESTUARY have returned, ablazing the world with their excellent mix of Death and Thrash Metal. They have overcome the typical pitfall for hybridisation and there is enough variation on the album to keep you interested so that you don’t feel the urge to have a break. Fans of DEW-SCENTED would be wise to check out this album and I look forward to future releases by this USA based group.
(Online July 6, 2007)