The Chasm - Deathcult for Eternity: The Triumph
[/B]Brilliance ruined by affectation
The Chasm fuse 80s heavy metal melodicism with obvious Slayer influences to create fierce and passionate Romantic death metal with cosmic themes. The garishly titled ‘Deathcult for Eternity: The Triumph’ marks the point at which Daniel Corchado – fresh from a productive stint with Incantation – was able to make the band's first coherent statement.
These veterans construct songs with an expert understanding of genre dynamics and a penchant for exploring a melodic sensibility they share with Dissection and later Mayhem. The song structures are complex, being comprised of many different riffs that frustratingly alternate between the genuinely epic and the nauseatingly cringe worthy. Sections of this album are very evocative in their brave sincerity, yet others badly expose the limits of the genre when it comes to conveying the emotional, especially when juxtaposed with ropey acoustic guitar interjections.
Frequent hackneyed 80’s clichés rear their head in the form of drawn out, crash endings; indulgent lead guitar solos and cheesy screams. The latter in particular are very melodramatic and leave the listener unable to free himself from the vestiges of cynicism preventing suspension of disbelief. A nadir is reached in the dreadful ‘Apocalypse' and its cloying vocal line.
The lyrics are tongue-curlingly pretentious and the vocals are marred by terrible affectation. This is a shame because the message presented is integral and the music sincere and strengthening. Unfortunately the album is also recorded out of tune, which seriously denigrates the credibility of its conceptual aspirations and, in places, drags it close to farce.
There is evidence of strong material here, and the quality of melody nearly carries it, but it is plagued by distasteful execution and over-stylised delivery. If this band showed some restraint, the praiseworthy elements in their music would place them at the head of the genre.