Spell Of Retribution
What Chasm reminded me of, in spirit, right off the bat was that point in the early ’90s when a number of the Florida death metallers became weary of simply pushing the bounds of extremity and gave themselves over to their wilder artistic impulses while still holding true to their beloved death metal framework. Cynic, Sadus, Death, Atheist and Pestilence-circa Spheres, where aural extremity meets progressive insanity. A heady lineage to continue.
So with Spell of Retribution, we have a sound that is perched somewhere between the gory violence of Massacre, the thrashing mutation of “Schizophrenia”-era Sepultura, and the experimental tendencies of Cynic. Riffs pour and tumble out freely, one of The Chasm’s songs would have enough ideas to keep other bands tided over for a whole album. Musicianship is tight and competent; the discipline is just ridiculous for a band of death metallers. Yet, they still retain the murderous blunt-instrument-to-the-head edge that is usually seen in the more primitive likes of Disgorge and Mortician. But the Sepultura influence looms large, in the vocals (although there’s a good dose of Kam Lee in there too), the non-reverbed, serrated guitars and the octopus drumming (fills a’plenty!). With no lyric sheet provided, I can’t really say for certain, but apparently The Chasm are doing a sort of Nile thing, except using their own ancestry/native source materials for inspiration. South American myth and legend informs their lyrics, a new well of themes and concepts that matches the exploration of the music.
So what ya end up with is heavy fucking music, swirling unstructured songs built around a plethora of riffs and instrumental patterns executed in a near avant-garde manner, not a million miles removed from Fantomas even, but still rooted in the more wild-eyed spectrum of death metal.