without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Riffs, man. Fucking riffs.
That’s a good way to describe this album. But to do this album true justice, more detail is necessary. The Chasm have been around for awhile, releasing quite a few great albums, but for me, their 2009 offering Farseeing The Paranormal Abysm has them at the top of their game, resulting in an album full of excellent riffing, creative song structures, and a very textured sound. All of this adds up to make one of the best death metal albums of the past decade.
For starters, this album only utilized vocals on half of the eight tracks here. Even when they are implemented, they’re surprisingly low in the mix relative to everything else (almost like Ulver’s Nattens Madrigal, just without raw production), which actually benefits the music by giving it a very distant feeling. This feeling is further accentuated by the slight layer of synths underneath that add an extra bit of atmosphere that ultimately helps this album achieve its goal. Still, the atmosphere is most defined by the riffs, which give remind me a bit of those on Nocturnus’ classic album The Key.
The riffs here aren’t just the kind of catchy old-school stuff that you’d hear from the likes of Impaled or Demigod, but instead also rely on subtle note changes to keep our attention. Many of the riffs are tremolo picked, and these are often emphasized further by a counter-melody by the other guitarist. In fact, the counterpoint going on here is crazy! Just listen to ‘Entering A Superior Dimension’ at 5:48 onward. EPIC! These riffs often lend well to the constant transitions, as evidenced in that same track. This track has The Chasm messing around with all types of riffs, from the tremolo picked ones I mentioned before, to the uber-catchy kind of riffs you might find in other forms of old school death metal, and they all just blend together so god damn well! This is like the anti-Opeth in terms of transitions!
Not to be overlooked is the drumming here. It may not be the focal point, but there is some outstanding drumwork on this album. There are lots of syncopated sections interspersed all over the album, and these are most effective while the guitarists are playing their counter-melodies. This just adds even more to the already dense textures that these musicians have created. In addition, I really like the sound that they got with their drum kit. Something about it sounds very organic to me for some reason (even though I know that drums tend to be the least organic part of music these days).
But back to the riffs… man, these are good. Just listen to a song like ‘Fiery Rebirth’ or ‘Structure Of The Seance,’ the latter of which happen to be one of the most awesome tracks on an album filled with awesome tracks. I can hear riffs from almost all styles of death metal, from the thrashier Florida sound to the tremolo-happy Swedish sound. This diversity in riff style, in conjunction with great songwriting, is ultimately what separates The Chasm from pretty much all of their contemporaries. Yet in a way, they also separate themselves from the bands that they draw inspiration from by being such a great amalgamation of death metal awesomeness.
There really isn’t much more to say about this masterpiece. This is certainly not a collection of songs to be listened to individually, but instead a whole experience to be had. The otherworldly atmosphere, combined with excellent songwriting, make this album an undeniable classic.
Written for http://thenumberoftheblog.com/