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Review: The Chasm - Deathcult For Eternity... The Triumph
The Chasm
Deathcult For Eternity... The Triumph

Label: Oz Productions
Year released: 1998
Duration: 55:11
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: December 18, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating
Deathcult For Eternity... The Triumph

Rated 4.45/5 (88.95%) (38 Votes)

The Chasm are one of Metal's darlings, having been around for a long time and cranking out a slew of Death Metal epics for the ages, and this one, their much-adored third album Deathcult for Eternity, is generally regarded as their masterpiece. Is this a good album? Certainly. I would not, however, go so far as to proclaim it their best work, much less a crowning achievement in the Death Metal genre.

For those of you who don't know this band yet, let me inform you that they have always pushed the boundaries of what is deemed "acceptable" in this genre, volleying forth with their early blend of Death, Black and Doom and slowly transforming into a more streamlined, focused and aggressive Death Metal beast with the albums following this one. Deathcult is the aural equivalent of a long, winding, apocalyptic voyage through the depths of Hell, alternating between heavy, crushing Death Metal and an oddly blackened sort of hyper-speed blasting, accented with some mellow acoustic guitars here and there that add a degree of demented insanity to the music - such beautiful normalcy combined with the sounds of Hell often have such an effect, a la Cryptopsy's "Phobophile." The best songs here are the first three, which are the most straightforward and punchy of the lot, with "No Mercy" standing out the most, its sharp, biting riffs piercing the listener like the fangs of a wolf, but "Possessed by Past Tragedies" is also quite good, standing out with its somber atmosphere contrasting the usual Death Metal fury.

The Chasm were just starting out here, expanding into their new style with an eager outlook and a lot of good intentions. This can easily be heard in the frenetic manner of the compositions here, but they are perhaps a bit too frenetic and frenzied. Almost all of the songs here start off great, with the signature The Chasm touch in the riffs and melodies, but, as this was a more juvenile form of the band, they eventually start to meander with a lot of different sections that just don't connect. All the pieces are there, but the songs don't really come together as cohesive wholes, meandering on for six minutes at a time in displays of quite lackluster songwriting. Every song here is kind of like a journey; starting off at one point and ending at another, far away from the origin. This is what most people usually refer to when they say "epic," and while there are bands that can pull it off, including The Chasm on later works, this album just doesn't do it as well as it could. The songs are disjointed and cluttered, changing in tempo and mode constantly, with many things going on all at once. As a result, pretty much every song here starts to run into one another, and none of them are particularly memorable, aside from the obvious fact that the songwriting is so unique. There are so many different elements on display here, from the speedy riffs, the blasting drums, the acoustic guitars and the doomier, slower parts that the whole affair becomes completely bloated, and it becomes pretty tiresome to listen to when one has The Spell of Retribution on hand, instead.

Deathcult is admittedly very good at conveying its Hellish atmosphere, though, with all of the songs flowing together into one giant ball of evil. I can appreciate what makes this a good album; I understand that it mostly thrives on the dark, evil atmosphere the band conveys through their varied melange of instrumentation, but it could have been much better than it was. The Chasm would get better from here, though, with the follow up Procession to the Infraworld being a direct hit on my Metal radar, and the follow-ups getting better and better as the band aged...

Additional Information

Also released on cassette

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