Bangalore thrash metal band Theorized probably couldn’t have conceived and subsequently released their debut full length album, Psychosphere, at a more appropriate time. In light of the various different civil conflicts taking shape internationally over the last two or three years, Psychosphere – an evidently political and war centred ten-track album, focusing a majority of the lyrics talking about nuclear war – fortunately or unfortunately found its conception in August to October 2013, just a few weeks before Ukraine witnessed the first string of the Euromaidan, which fuelled a lot of talk of war. Almost as if the album were a prediction of the future – which we all wish is incorrect – it effectively walks the listener through the event of a nuclear holocaust striking the modern world, a third World War if you will – well, that last bit is the product of this writer’s imagination. The introductory track, ‘Bound’, shrivels into your ears with an acoustic guitar riff playing through the ever-ominous nuclear winter-accident-Silent Hill-evacuation-foghorn/siren, beautifully explaining the complete desolation of everything around you with you left standing all alone with the reminder of loss as your only friend.
The sound is genuinely old school, so much so that Psychosphere almost sounds like something out of your dad’s metal collection, if your dad was cool enough to be listening to metal back in his day. Theorized have almost completely abandoned any modern thrash influences with this record; sure, you will hear the occasional moment where the guitar harmonic riff will remind you of Animals As Leaders’ ‘Wave of Babies’ and Chimera through songs like ‘Venomous Tormentia’ and ‘Riptide’, but as a whole, this writer doubts whether these were consciously borrowed ideas or sounds. The album has been almost successful in retaining an identity of its own despite the heavy old school influences; maybe this would have been one of the best selling thrash records a decade ago, but in present time, it suffers the danger of falling into the vicinity of ‘been there, heard that.’ With vocals reminiscent of Slayer’s Tom Araya, Madhav Ayachit’s voice has a certain painfully subdued and about-to-break-out quality, a perfect tone to anarchy and the commandments of new world order. Not the kind of anarchy that Metallica used to profess, but more of a possible eventuality of the modern system; and the best way to wage musical war with the modern system was the nostalgic old school sound of ’80s and ’90s thrash. Psychosphere positions itself as a concept or theme based album just with the sirens blaring at intervals throughout the record, walking you through the devastation and its aftermath, with trill-and-run guitar solos reminiscent of Slayer and Anthrax’s guitar tones. All said and done, the record sounds genuine; and only seems to emulate a sound that resides somewhere deep in the back of the listener’s mind – as memories of the first Death record they heard. Regardless of any listener’s tendency to not pay too much attention to this record vis-à-vis its lack of innovation, there is a certain quality to the album that would be hard to disregard. Call it nostalgia, anarchy, or war; a drinking-age thrash metal freak will probably find it irresistible to articulate his relationship with this record, possibly fanatically.
Buy Psychosphere online here.
Visit Theorized's Facebook page for information on purchasing CDs and band merchandise.
Stream 'Riptide' from Psychosphere below:
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BHANUJ KAPPAL As a journalist, you learn to hate deadlines with a vengeance. You’re never really