Now when it comes to cover albums it can go two ways.
You can either replicate a carbon copy of the songs you are covering or you can do something totally different with them. And that’s exactly what Schizophrenia have done with their latest EP “Chants Of The Abyss”.
After last year’s release of their full-length Belgium’s death-thrash frontrunners thought it would be right to release a fantastic cover album. “Playing covers has always been deeply rooted in Schizophrenia. Since the start of the band, we have always included one in our live set list to the point where we felt, time passing, that our adaptations were becoming more and more personal and original.”
This is what “Chants Of The Abyss” is down to the bone, These classic tracks the band cover on this album show the influence the bands have on Schizophrenia but also have that dirtier, faster & more live feel to them.
First up the classic “Necrophiliac” by Slayer. Now we can all agree Slayer’s early releases are now masterpieces but the first few records lacked that punch modern thrash has. So getting to hear Schizophrenia’s balls out, dripping in a heavy guitar sound cover these iconic riffs is radical!
Bassist & Vocalist Ricky Mandozzi snarling & gruesome scream is perfect for this track, giving it the darkest the original always needed.
Not to mention guitarists Romeo Promos Promopoulos & Marty Van Kerckhoven’s lead work on the track is on par with King & Hanneman.
Maze Of Torment by the Florida death metal legends gets the same treatment, still keeping the dirty & wacky sound of Morbid Angel but giving it the touch of brutality Schizophrenia thinks it deserves.
Showing off his technical ability drummer Lorenzo Vissol gets to shine on this track, I think he even gives Pete Sandoval a run for his money & recorded a performance he should be really proud of because he blasts really hard here!
Even dipped their toes into the UK punk sounds with GBH’s “Race Against Time”. A deep cut for a staple English punk band shows the wide influences Schizophrenia have. Somehow they have been able to make it into a fantastic death-thrash track that still keeps its fast-blasting punk rock roots but adds that Belgium grit to an English classic.
“Chants Of The Abyss” is a superb little covers EP. showcasing some of the live covers the band displays & also giving some classic & fundamental tracks that needed death-thrash overhaul!
“Chants Of The Abyss” is self-released on 10th February 2023
Review: Joseph Mitchell
1. Necrophiliac (Slayer cover)
2. Maze Of Torment (Morbid Angel cover)
3. Metal Meltdown (Judas Priest cover)
4. Bullet (Misfits cover)
5. Strike Of The Beast (Exodus cover)
6. Race Against Time (GBH cover)
Ricky Mandozzi: Bass & vocals
Romeo Promos Promopoulos: Lead & rhythm guitar
Marty Van Kerckhoven: Lead & rhythm guitar
Lorenzo Vissol: Drums