Gotta love when you get in a little indie release that completely blows your socks off after the first spin, then just continues to impress each and every time you pop it into the CD player. Cholera hail from Ottawa, Canada, and play a complex, progressive style of death metal that is, quite frankly, leagues ahead of much of the competition. Prophecies of Annihilation was released independently in 2010 and features songs from their Enslaved Humanity EP and a few new pieces, giving us about an hour of music that needs to be heard by fans and every metal label. It's just hard to fathom why a band this talented is unsigned at this point, but hopefully that won't last long.
Five tracks in total make up Prophecies of Annihilation, the shortest being just over 9 minutes long, so you can expect plenty of adventurous stuff on this one. Hard to compare these guys to anyone else, though you can hear a little Opeth and Dream Theater from time to time, but they perfectly balance pummeling death metal with complex, technical prog-metal in a way that keeps you glued from start to finish. The mix of growls and soaring clean vocals on "Enslaved Humanity" is simply masterful, and they throw in plenty of prog rock keyboards amidst the jackhammer blasts and crushing riffs. Wait till you check out the near 19 minute "The Lost Traveler", a brilliant epic that throws everything at the listener but makes perfect sense; gorgeous flamenco guitar, intricate guitar & bass lines, haunting keyboard passages, cello, alluring clean vocals, and brutal growls. Plenty of prog rock on the adventurous "Reminiscence", and the crushing title track is atmospheric progressive death metal at its finest.
Hard to find fault with anything on Prophecies of Annihilation, other than the fact that it comes in a 'homemade' little package that just screams major label, big budget attention. Raphael Weinrith-Browne (guitars, drums, vocals, keyboards, piano, cello, oud) and Matthew Buller (bass, additional vocals) need to flesh out this line-up, get their band signed, and take this to the next level. Prophecies of Annihilation is a must hear for fans of progressive death metal, and Cholera is a band to watch in the months & years ahead. Highly recommended!
1. Road Into the Fire (9:25)
2. Enslaved Humanity (12:52)
3. The Lost Traveler (18:23)
4. Reminisce (13:35)
5. Prophecies of Annihilation (11:36)