This is not the first time recently I have had to read about a band having to change their name because of an ex-member making things difficult legally, although after a little bit of digging there do appear to be valid arguments on either side as to what happened in this case. However, as I have never had the pleasure or misfortune to hear this band under their previous name ‘Canobliss’, I can approach the ‘debut’ EP from Psychothermia hopefully with a fresh and unbiased set of ears.
Based in San Diego, California, Psychothermia are now a four piece comprising of Johan Maldonado (vocals), John Russo (guitar), Mike Russo (drums) and Chenzo Vidalez (bass) and, under both guises, have obtained a healthy reputation without ever having the backing of a record label, manager or booking agent. They play what I would call Modern American Metal, but they certainly aren’t your usual fare and, by all accounts, have altered their approach slightly along with the name change. All six songs on the EP are medium pacers and, although I wouldn’t call them progressive in the usual sense, the songs do not always follow the path you would expect (which is actually very refreshing). They do not rely on huge cheesy choruses but the songs start to burrow into your brain the more you listen to them. Their direction hints at a more thoughtful or intelligent approach than you would normally expect and they certainly seem to have found a sound that distinguishes them from the pack. What did strike me were the vocals of Maldonado but only because they very much reminded me of Dee Snider at times (which is a good thing even if you do think I’ve lost the plot!). If you can imagine Snider fronting a Modern Metal band then this pretty much what you would get.
For this release, they worked with producer Fred Archambault (Avenged Sevenfold) who has done a grand job with the mixing. They all appear to be very capable at their respective instruments (supporting bands such as Disturbed, Stone Sour, Hell Yeah and Biohazard under their previous name suggest they are no slouches), and now that they are working with a decent promoter, are currently in the midst of a large campaign to fund their first full length album which will be released in the first half of 2013. Psychothermia are not the most immediate of listens, but the fact that they have come through a situation that might have finished a lot of bands off for good with a release as interesting as this one deserves plenty of respect. They really do need to be signed by a decent label which would help them reach a wider audience. I will follow with interest.
SLASH & BURN
Review by Rick Tilley
2) Crazy X
3) Slash & Burn
4) The Fight
5) All the Diamonds
6) Danger Sign
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Their direction hints at a more thoughtful or intelligent approach than you would normally expect and they certainly seem to have found a sound that distinguishes them from the pack."