Review Summary: A very interesting and refreshing listen within death metal.
At times, death metal can seem like a slightly stagnant genre. Although the quality of most death metal is excellent, there are hardly any bands of late that have brought anything new to the table, instead choosing to stick to a blueprint laid down by previous and perhaps pioneering bands. Although this usually creates some fantastic music, there is still rarely any innovation, any creativity or any originality displayed (which is perhaps summed up by the sudden wave of tech-death bands recently).
The Chasm are a relatively unknown death metal band hailing from Mexico City. Consisting of Daniel Corchado (vocals and guitar), Julio Viterbo (guitar), Antonio Leon (drums) and Alfonso Polo (bass), they play a unique and distinctive style of death metal, blending together old school, melodic and doom metal into one. Starting off as a death/doom band, The Chasm have gradually been incorporating melodic elements within their music, and the pinnacle of this is Procession to the Infraworld.
The main way in which melody is incorporated here is through the impressive guitar harmonies. Both guitarists play some great riffs in harmony with one another, and although the guitar playing is not entirely technical or complicated, the way in which the band employ simple riffs in harmony yields some fantastic results. The solos are also very well constructed and melodic, as supposed to the usual break-neck speed shredded wankery you hear from a lot of death metal bands.
The drums are somewhat varied, sometimes played in straightforward and mid-tempo fashion. However, Antonio Leon often utilizes blast beats and thunderous double bass, which largely contributes to the old school, feel of this album. However, the drums (or more specifically, the cymbals) seem a little too high in the mix and could do with some reduced volume (an example of this would be throughout the song 'At the Edge of the Nebula Mortis'). Also regarding production, the bass seems largely inaudible and could also do with a change of volume. However, this is perhaps only a minor problem, as it does not lower the quality of the album too much.
The vocals on Procession to the Infraworld are great. Daniel Corchado’s vocals are very evil and snarly, and his range of highs to lows is pretty impressive too. The vocals, combined with the guitars, give this album a very dark and evil edge, leading to a mysterious and eerie atmosphere, which is reflected in the album art too (something which many bands struggle to do). As well as the drums, the vocals also contribute majorly to the old school feel.
If there is one significant fault with Procession to the Infraworld, it’s the fact that it can be a little boring and even tedious at times. Songs like 'Return of the Banished' and 'Storm of Revelations' feel slightly overdone in terms of length, yet insignificant in terms of substance and quality. Also, the album seems to lack some sort of personal connection with the listener, and feels a little too robotic at times.
Despite the album being a little boring in places and a few minor production problems, The Chasm have released a very refreshing and unique album in Procession to the Infraworld. Not many bands have managed to be melodic and well-constructed, yet very dark and evil at the same time. However, with this release, The Chasm have done exactly that, and this provides a very refreshing and different listen, without being too challenging for the listener in question.