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Obscure bands are, for the most part, obscure for a reason. More than often, they are plagued by being exact clones of their influences, and rarely attempt to do anything original at all. However, Mind Eclipse are considerably different than these other bands that never made it for a reason. Their Chaos Chronicles album may well be one of the best underground metal albums I have heard to date.
This band combine death metal with progressive music, and then throw in a sprinkling of black metal vocals across the board. Their drumming is fast and intense, their dual guitar assault virtually unmatchable, the bass work is one hundred percent audible and their vocalist is a complete demon behind the microphone. Close all this off with an incredibly tight production, and what is left is an album that succeeds on nearly every single level imaginable.
This is an eight track long affair, with every single song standing out for its own individual reasons, and each one having a virtually untouchable atmosphere of the titular chaos. Dementia is a haunting one minute long instrumental, being extremely soft but eerie, building up to a scary crescendo at the end, in a classical vein, which leads perfectly into the first proper song, Looking The Chaos Within. This is full of tight, speedy drumming, a very diverse riff set, and immediately displays the talents of the vocalist. He can do extremely low death metal vocals and some of the most ear piercing black metal shrieks known to man. The vocals are mixed deliberately down so that everything blends together to form a completely intense experience in which every instrument is as dominant as the next one, and truly does use the vocals as another instrument. For saying this second song is six minutes long, it never lets up with the intensity, throwing in numerous bass fills that would put Alex Webster to shame, some of the best vocal work from any blackened death metal band out there, and a mixture of ingeniously written riffs.
The next two songs are no less epic, and display this albums real strength. Every song is absolutely beautiful chaos, being written by top-notch musicians, and performed equally as tightly. On paper, this form of music sounds like the perfect way to get the best of death metal and black metal in there, by using more progressive-oriented song structures, but this does not always work in practice. However, as the fourth song, Baltazar's Feast will prove to the listener, this really does work throughout.
The album is by no means perfect, with a number of creases that need ironing out. The album is a little too long for the non-stop brutality on display here, and may become tiresome for some listeners. Also, the uninitiated into either the black metal, death metal, or progressive natured musical genres will definitely not be able to dive head first into this release. This really is one that requires an open mind and a listener willing to experiment, as it does not hold anything back nor pull any punches, going straight for the jugular with its incredibly fast speeds, before occasionally having the slower moment that takes the listener by surprise and utterly decapitates them with its sudden shifts. This is somewhat of an acquired taste of an album.
Overall, this is an incredibly solid release by a European band that, unfortunately, will probably never enjoy the success that an album such as this one truly does deserve. Chaos Chronicles is a good album full of twists and turns and some of the most beautifully composed extreme metal the listener will ever hear. This is how progressive music should be done, and serves as a testament to the best of both death and black metal.