Deathcult for Eternity: The Triumph
seems to me a surprisingly unknown album. I don't think it's quite so mind-blowing as these guys make out, but it deserves a lot more attention that it gets.
The core of The Chasm is vocalist and main man Daniel Corchado, formerly of Cenotaph (mex) and later of Incantation. He left the more brutal Cenotaph sometime in 1992, with the intention of embarking on a band whose musical exercise would be in trying to exemplify "the metal of death". Now, although The Chasm happen to play death metal, it should be noted that that's not strictly what he means. The man is obsessed with death - the phenomenon, not the musical style. His beliefs, such as I think they are, are rather too convoluted to adequately run through here, but involve a lot of respect for death, the grim reaper, as a figure to be awaited with immense happiness, for when it comes, your time in the great unknown, the afterlife, begins. It is that which is his ultimate goal - "every day is just another lesson, another step in my preparation" - and which results in his fascination with all things death-related. His intention with The Chasm is to create music as best he can to represent and illustrate the nature of life and death, their perceived and actual relationships as he sees them, and so on.
Fortunately, he's really quite good at it, and Deathcult For Eternity; The Triumph
is proof of that. Much of this representation involves ugliness and unease, something which is apparent in the music. Although there is a lot of melody here - hence melodic death metal - at it's most light-hearted it is often slower and uneasier than you might expect melodic death to be, and often it could be described as murky, and torturous..but not torturous as in boring. I find one of the greatest strengths of this album to be that it's interesting listening, in the best sense possible; sprawling, and engrossing. Without ever lowering themselves to the level of using hooks and choruses, The Chasm rarely fail to hold your attention throughout. It's not an easy listen, and it won't be to everyone's taste, but for those who can like it, it's a very impressive piece of work. It also points to no immediately apparent particular influences, which is something very rare indeed.
It's not perfect, however, which is why I don't feel it deserves 100%. For one thing, and this is minor, it's long. I've no problem with long albums especially, but what with the nature of the music, it's a rare day that I listen through the whole thing from start to finish (though whenever I do want to listen to it, I always start at the first track and let it play through). The second, and much more pertinent, point is his vocals. The vast majority of the time, he uses mid-range death metal style vocals, which is no problem. They're even quite good, for what they are. However, every now and then, he'll come out with a high-pitched scream. I've no problem with those usually either, but when I say scream, I really mean "squeal". These things would put most glam vocalists to shame, and the production quality doesn't seem to do them any favours either. Put simply, they're some of the most horrific (in a bad way) and out-of-place things I've ever heard. Considering he probably spends (counting up the length and so on) less than 30 seconds of the album doing them, the amount by which my score is dropped reflects how badly I think of them.
Still, in the end, these relatively small problems do little to impinge on an otherwise very good album. Recommended for fans of death metal, especially those who like something a bit different.