The Chasm
Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyler Munro EMERITUS
October 18th, 2009 | 75 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Forget swine flu, this is Mexican death (metal) done right.

As long as we’re not concerning ourselves with song and album titles, the Chasm have made careers out of being masterful writers. Throughout their extended tenure, they’ve made a name with their expansive, tense brand of death metal. They’ve showed an uninhibited, above average knowledge of song-writing and an incendiary grasp on climaxes. But there’s always been one hurdle–the vocals. Daniel Corchado isn’t exactly Corpsegrinder. However with Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm (remember what I said about titles?), the Chasm took what some would call a risk. I call it sensible. As you’ll undoubtedly realize, Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is largely instrumental. I’d reckon it’s somewhere close to 50% vocal-less. It’s better for it, too.

I’ll be blunt–Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is a strong contender for death metal album of the year. And I won’t ramble; there’s very little wrong with it. Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm brings several unique elements to the proverbial table. It then goes on to smash them with a hammer and weld them into a new beast altogether. Which, conveniently enough, is how The Chasm seem to write songs. They often base entire tracks around only a couple of riffs riffs, which, given the length of some of these tracks, is a testament to their talents. A riff will often sneak in, alone, until it repeats with a bass, then drums, then another guitar. Sometimes you even get vocals. From there, the songs tend to play around within themselves; they speed up, bend and distort. This isn't to say the songs are limited to a small number of riffs (in fact it's quite the contrary), merely that they use one or two riffs as their jumping off point. I’m sure you’ll want specifics.

“Entering a Superior Dimension” spends over 8 minutes on essentially one riff and one speedy time change. It does end on a gloomy, almost diminutive note, but it’s the simple dynamic that gets us there. Throughout the tense 8 minute runtime of “Callous Spectre/Vehement Opposition” you’ll occasionally notice the semblance of keyboards. Usually you won’t. You’ll also keep expecting vocals to come in. They don’t. But the Chasm’s ability to build tracks almost exponentially by adding otherwise simple variations to singular ideas will keep you on your toes. If you’re sitting down, they’ll push you to the edge of your seat. You’re left waiting for what never comes. And in the end, the journey, however Mexican it may be, was worth it.

We should probably talk about vocals. I don’t want to, and in listening to Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, I can guess I’m probably not alone here. But like the band, vocals are an issue we must revisit. The Chasm does so on “Fiery Rebirth,” a track that features an early vocal outburst that bears a striking similarity to the Cookie Monster. Note the capitals: when I say Cookie Monster, I’m not referring to what your parents call Mikael Akerfedlt when your Opeth album seeps out from your headphones. At times, but especially on “Fiery Rebirth”, Daniel Corchado sounds like the Cookie Monster. From Sesame Street. Luckily the vocals are usually less invasive and typically involve more than the bizarrely unwelcomed “ARGHHHS” that litter “Fiery Rebirth”. You’ll sometimes notice higher rasps, which work quite well and by all accounts should have been more predominantly featured. But this is the reason Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm’s instrumental base works as well as it does. More often than not the album does without its groaned, shout-y croaks, leaving little for the listener to complain about.

It's hard to complain about the vocals because they're few and far between and the guitars often carry a vocal intonation. Some could be frustrated by the band’s circular songwriting, which often continually builds tension that, for some, might go unfulfilled. That’s because the Chasm write songs to explore these tensions, not exploit them. Most won’t be annoyed by this, because the band excels at creating tension in a variety of ways; from “Structures”’ thrashy inflections to “Vaults”’ demonically spiralling (and sometimes gloomy) tone, the band is delivering a unique soundtrack for each aural trip. And trip is a good adjective for the album. Pardon the cliché, but as far as Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is concerned, it’s not where you end up but how you get there. Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is a moody, inventive death metal album. Don’t let it fall through the cracks.



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user ratings (69)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
October 18th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wrote this on the bus a while ago but only got around to fixing it up and posting it today. Donno why it took so long, I've been waiting to make that H1N1 joke for a long time.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2009


15070 Comments


nice summary lol

Anthracks
October 18th 2009


3774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

still havent listened to this

Digging: Ariel Pink - Pom Pom

fireaboveicebelow
October 18th 2009


6837 Comments


I agree with the review kinda weird eh?

Tyler
Emeritus
October 18th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why is that weird

Anthracks
October 18th 2009


3774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They often base entire tracks around one or two riffs,


extremely offputting this doesnt mean there are just 1-2 riffs per track does it

Tyler
Emeritus
October 18th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No. I should probably re-word that. I mean that the tracks grow from one or two riffs. They're sort of the 'choruses' or whatever. They use a few riffs as focal points, then go from there. I'll generalize it more.

Zoo
October 18th 2009


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this band and they've always been super consistent throughout their career.

Greggers
October 18th 2009


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sounds interesting, I'll have to check this out

handoman
October 18th 2009


2386 Comments


nice i gotta check this out

XulOnerom
October 18th 2009


1818 Comments


when your Opeth album seeps out from your headphonse


Little typo there. Great review, however. I'll look this one up

Countorous
October 18th 2009


169 Comments


album was great as expected

Tyler
Emeritus
October 18th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will fix typo later. Too awkward to do so from my phone.

Essence
October 18th 2009


3588 Comments


you don't post reviews often enough : /

Tyler
Emeritus
October 18th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I try but Im always really busy with school and work. Should have a few more coming his month and a fair sized interview in early November, though.

Essence
October 18th 2009


3588 Comments


who is the interview with?

devsol
October 18th 2009


347 Comments


good album and good review

however, i do have a suggestion: when you use dashes ( - ), maybe leave a space on either side of it, it would read much nicer.

Tyler
Emeritus
October 19th 2009


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll give r a shot. It won't let me use longer em dashes so that's why they bunch the text up.

alachlahol
October 19th 2009


7509 Comments


And in the end, the journey, however Mexican it may be, was worth it.

not sure i really understand that

jrowa001
October 19th 2009


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

among top 5 death metal albums of the year



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