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Review: Oblivion - Cyclogenesis: Songs for Armageddon
Cyclogenesis: Songs for Armageddon

Label: Divebomb Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 2:25:27
Tracks: 35
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: January 13, 2017
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 3.73/5 (74.55%) (11 Votes)

Of the 31 bands listed at Metal-Archives going by the name Oblivion, the Thrash band from Toms River, NJ claims to be the first. Regardless, these guys started out in 1984 at the beginning of the ascension of Thrash Metal and over the next several years released no less than seven demos, none of which caught the attention of the major or minor labels that were all over the scene at that time. Seems hard to believe but I'm sure there are plenty of bands with a similar story.

It would seem the band is back together, maybe just for shows, maybe with new material on the way, and to get the name back in the public consciousness Divebomb Records has gathered up all their demos into a 2-CD package, added a booklet with a lengthy interview and loads of photos, posters, etc. and dubbed it Cyclogenesis: Songs for Armageddon. The packaging is pro, but musically we are talking about demos here so the sound in some spots is rough and there are a few missed notes, someone losing the beat, etc. Taking the warts in context, they are actually kind of charming in their own way.

Musically, Oblivion started as a Slayer clone and the songs on their earliest demos, Oblivion and Intention to Kill, sound a lot like Haunting the Chapel or Hell Awaits extras. By 1987 the band had a new singer and had incorporated a lot more Hardcore elements into their sound like shouted, rather than sung, vocals and more groove breakdowns. Personally, I like the blistering ferocity of the earliest material and can forgo the Suicidal Tendencies/D.R.I. influences of the later songs. There's nothing in two CDs' worth of songs that stands out, as the songwriting isn't particularly original, and that's probably why Oblivion never got that elusive deal but as a time capsule Cyclogenesis has some value. In an unusual move, either the label or the band or both set the track listing starting with the most recent songs (from 1990) and ending with the earliest effort from 1985. The effect is listening to the band devolve rather than evolve. Style points for trying something different. If you love US Thrash, especially the East Coast variety with its Hardcore influences, there's an awful lot of music packed into this release. Just don't set your expectations too high.

More about Oblivion...
Review: Cyclogenesis: Songs for Armageddon (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist David Fesette on January 26, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with bassist Bob Petrosino on March 5, 2017 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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