Friday, 6 July 2012

Bloody Sign - Chaos Echoes

BLOODY SIGN - Chaos Echoes (BLOOD HARVEST - CD 2010)
Honestly I've been really looking forward to listen to this album, third one from these French zombies. I've been doing so for two main reasons. One being the fact that I know BLOODY SIGN's music already since they released their "Primitive Horde" demo in 2001, but it was mainly their debut LP "Vana Vigala Loits" that caused the chaos and made me promote the band on the pages of my old Panzerfaust zine. After the brilliant debut another great tunes have been recorded on few splits or EPs, so yeah... Definitely BLOODY SIGN became one of my favourite underground death crews at the time of middle 00's. But then the second album came out. And that's the reason number two, why I was looking forward to hear "Chaos Echoes"... It's the fact that I haven't enjoyed “Explosion of Elements” much, almost felt that the album is dull and uninspiring. The band has changed stylistically a bit on it, but it came with very monotonous and weird music. So, I kind of hoped that with "Chaos Echoes" BLOODY SIGN will make me up for the previous small failure... And so they fuckin did!
Although I'm again really surprised - positively this time - that BLOODY SIGN has taken yet another different path in their underground crusade. It's not as much a step forward as more to the left (hand path), as they sound now completely different that they used to on the first LP. Don't know if it's a matter of production, but "Chaos Echoes" got totally black metal sound! It sounds so dark and sinister that during the opening theme of „Chord Temple” I had an impression someone putted WATAIN or ONDSKAPT album to the player, not BLOODY SIGN! It does has a total vibe of orthodox, religious black metal act from Sweden and the sound similar to the NECROMORBUS productions - just listen to these guitars and drums... But it's not just that, the sound can't change the band so much; it's also the music on „Chaos Echoes”, which is so different and hard to classify. I may of course call it avantgarde death metal or rather avantgardish death / black metal, but the point is that it's something I would never expect from BLODY SIGN and I guess anyone who really enjoyed their old school, classic death metal music from the first album may have some problems with "Chaos Echoes".
But the main motto of "Chaos Echoes" says „To hell with the rules, I am going for the unknown” and that can tell you much. Just listen to these riffs, arrangements, fell this obscure atmosphere! Fast, furious riffs are accompanied by some totally cacophonic solos and some weird, lunatic parts; all covered by the black metal dirt and mood, giving very claustrophobic, mysterious and incredibly dark music. It almost has a ritualistic feel, in which two opposite elements collide with each other; which has so many layers that it may be a real challenge for some listeners. Let's pick up few examples. "Chord Temple" is the first, obvious one as it opens the album with fast, slaying black metal part, which suddenly stops and gives a place to a cacophonic solo, which sounds like it just shouldn't be there and only interrupts. What a weird idea. "The Call", one of the best songs actually, reminds me more of say DEATHSPELL OMEGA than INCANTATION, but it's mainly due to that great, slow opening riff, which creates an awesome atmosphere like something was crawling in the dark towards you, giving you creeps (have you seen that Spanish horror, "Rec"? watch its final), later changing into total slaughtering riffage. „Words of Death” has probably the catchiest fast riff of the entire album, this is also a song, which has the most classic and simple structure, unlike everything else on "Chaos Echoes".
I cannot forget about all those short instrumentals, which are really schizophrenic and weird and which make me think of "Chaos Echoes" as an concept album. I have to add that I haven't had time to look through the lyrics yet, but the booklet and everything here looks very enigmatic and intriguing. I'll surely try to look at it later. All I can say at the end is that BLOODY SIGN delivered really great, but unexpected album. Stylistically it's something I just didn't expect to hear; often more black than death metal in the atmosphere, what I think places those French maniacs among such bands as PORTAL and STARGAZER - the most unique and mysterious, untypical death metal bands of nowadays scene. Great listening anyway, I've enjoyed it much and it's also released by one of my favourite labels, Swedish BLOOD HARVEST, so what else can I ask for?
Final rate: 85/100

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