CHAOS MOON - Amissum (HELLTHRASHER Productions CD 2016)
I do apologize for my ignorance, but I really have never heard about Chaos Moon. I can see that this American band has already released three albums and several EPs and demos, but I just never have heard their name before. Better late than never, they say, and that’s truth. Chaos Moon new release, EP called “Amissum”, was recently putted out by Hellthrasher Records. I have to say that however skeptical I was, I do admit that this music turned out to be damn fantastic and I’ve been playing this CD quite many times during the past days. “Amissum” contains four songs plus two additional new tracks, all together bringing you 43 minutes of music – which basically is like a full length album, not EP, but who cares for such details, right? Most important thing is that it’s really damn good stuff.
When the title track started, with a ferocious, harsh and quite fast sounding black metal I thought that this is what Chaos Moon will be like – just raw, plain, speedy black metal. But the deeper you delve into “Amissum”, the more surprising it turns out to be, with rather experimental, atmospheric take on black metal. And as much as I would want to avoid calling it “post black metal” (because I can see how hated this term is and how wrongfully it often is seen as something completely not related to such extreme genres as black metal), I just cannot find any better description for these sounds, other than actually “post black metal”! So, I’m sorry if right from the start you will have a problem with this term and you basically hate everything what’s called this way, even without hearing a single song. But I do think that “Amissum”, with its atmosphere, distortion, the way the songs have been built, the riffage and that kind of spatial sound, it fits the “post” metal term perfectly.
So, the beginning of “Amissum”, with the fast tempo and harshness of first motif are very misleading, because the majority of this album is played in slow, almost doomy tempo, with long-duration melody / riff that has very hypnotizing and mesmerizing influence on the listener. Often the song structure can be fully based on one such motif, which will just repeat through five minutes, accompanied by harsh and vicious scream of Eric Baker (who I think did his vocals as a guest). Definitely the song “Amissum” is the most diverse and therefore also the best, I think, the riffing in it is just damn good. This is rather aggressive tune, but I also like a lot that drone and sinister aura of slower songs with strong ambient influence (“Resurrection I-III”). Definitely most of the album is in contemplating mood, rather than something what will bring ferociousness and aggression (one more exception is “Illusions of Dusk and Dawn”, the final song, which definitely is also the fastest and most vicious track from the whole album). Set it up in proper conditions, put the headphones on and let these sounds devour you. It works damn well on me.
So, a very good album from Chaos Moon and something that I really need to recommend to all people, who enjoy this sort of black metal. And for me the only disappointment is very austere look of the digipak, which is basically one panel and just nothing inside, except the lyrics for one song.
Standout tracks: “Amissum”, “Resurrection II”, “Illusions of Dusk and Dawn”
Final rate: 80/100