First formed in Portland/Oregon back in 2008, Black Metal outfit Chasma are one of the hundreds of young bands of their generation that began performing extreme Metal in hope of achieving one thing; making a career in the music industry.
Opportunities did not exactly fall freely onto their hands but the faith and support provided to them by the underground US label Moribund Records were enough to enable these lads to release their first two studio albums.
Lady luck, however, seems to finally be on their side as UK label Candlelight Records, home to Ihsahn & Obituary, has decided to offer the trio a contract with “Omega Theorian” being the fruit of that collaboration.
Chasma’s approach to Black Metal is quite classic really. The band loves indulging in blast beats, fast guitar tremolo pickings and raspy vocals as much as it does investing in guitar harmonies and atmospheric passages of the bleakest nature.
Undoubtedly, the potential success of this album depends on the extent to which these elements manage to co-exist in the same environment. So, how well did the band do in that respect?
Well, while the eight compositions on offer are enjoyable to listen to, what one realises after a couple of careful spins is that they are all products of a very specific musical formula – a formula that is well tried and fairly successful but, consequently, also pretty predictable indeed.
The two and a half minute atmospheric piece “The Emblazement” provides a pretty promising start for the album as the melodic female vocals on offer blend perfectly with Brandon Gordon’s moody guitar harmonies but the moment the bombastic drum beats and repetitive riffs of “Cathedral Of Luminaries” are first introduced it becomes clear that, from this stage onwards, the album begins to follow a more conventional approach.
Featuring massive head banging mid-tempo riffs and a haunting guitar harmony in its break, “Archane Rebirth” is perhaps the most mature composition of the album leaving songs like “Frozen Paths Of Never”, “Trapped Beneath The Shining World” and “Disciplines Of An Ancient Aeon” trail far behind, both with regards feel and execution.
The nine minute “Angelaria” is a blend of many clever ideas which, while work perfectly together, they do not possess a ‘wow factor’ while the four and a half minute “Hewn By The Hands Of Infinity” concludes the album with the assistance of fast riffing, blast beats and a handful of unholy screams.
I really hope that my review does not convey the wrong message as I really found listening to “Omega Theorian” being a pretty enjoyable experience indeed.
Yes, it is true that the US trio is not really presenting us with anything new here and that some songs would have perhaps benefited more had they followed a slightly less conventional approach in terms of signwriting but the fact remains that what we have here is a fine-sounding, solidly-executed release that fans of classic Black Metal should have no qualms investing in.