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The Chasm have always stood out on their own in the field of death metal. Their brand of what I refer to as "Dark Death Metal" has won over many metalheads, including me. However, every band has to start somewhere, and Procreation of the Inner Temple is The Chasm's start, and it was a rather rough start. This album shows a young band who would soon become one of the most unique death metal groups of all time.
The production is a bit edgy, which is forgivable being their first album. This album succeeds in giving off a very dark atmosphere that is a bit airy. It really sounds like it was recorded in a chasm. The instruments can sound rather rough at parts, and this works both positively and negatively. The guitars have a dark tone to them, and this works for the most part, but this makes the solos sound a bit messy, which is disappointing since Daniel Corchado has some of the best guitar solos in heavy metal. The bassline has a gloomy, crushing "thump" to it. The drumming is mixed rather oddly. The cymbal seems to be mixed higher than anything else from the drums. The subdued drum beats take away from the intensity a bit, but this lends to the more gloomy sound. This "aged" production manages to weaken the record, yet at the same time make it stand out on its own, with a more spacey sound similar to Voivod.
Them musicianship is one aspect where The Chasm excels. Daniel Corchado's growls sound similar to Altars of Madness era Morbid Angel with a touch of black metal evil. The guitarwork is where this band really manages to capture me. The stick to their own style, yet there manages to be something different on every album, and here is no exception. Daniel's guitarplaying has always amazed me, as he and Luis Ramos work together to craft amazing riffs and astounding leadwork. The guitarwork on Procreation of the Inner Temple has a doom metal influence in the tempo and riffs, as opposed to the thrashy riffs of later albums, while mixing in the complexity of death metal. The guitarwork here isn't as technical or as classically influenced as it would get on Deathcult For Eternity onward, but it's still rather complex, and also invokes a bit more melody than their later material. The solos are a bit more noisy on here than on the other records by the Chasm, but they're still rather melodic, and the noise mainly comes from the production. The basslines from Luis Martinez are almost like a weight that keeps the album in the shadows, and it never lets go. The drumming is not typical of death metal. Rather than blast through the whole album, drummer Antonio Leon tries out different techniques and experiments, including a lot of cymbal work, though that doesn't mean he has no speed, he just uses it tastefully.Very unique guitarwork and a competent rhythm section.
The songwriting is beautiful. One thing that The Chasm can do well is blend complex musicianship with excellent songwriting. Out of all of The Chasm's works, their debut is the most doom metal and black metal influenced, as well as their most atmospheric, also making it their darkest album. In fact, this sounds similar to a more technical Severed Survival/Mental Funeral era Autopsy, but with more doom, melody, and darkness and without the punk influence. My only problem is that certain parts of some songs tend to drag on too long. The lyrics are very complex, which is uncommon in death metal. Daniel chooses to search within himself for the answers to life. Each song contributes a piece to the album. "The Day of Liberation" is the darkest, most depressing song on the whole album, with the acoustic melodies and the ending invoking sorrow all around you. "A Dream of an Astral Spectrum" starts off great, with some great drumming by Antonio and a nice solo by our axemen, though the end of the song kinda just drags along. One of the best songs is "Honorus Lux Infinitus", with some weird, twisted riffs and melodies and cool leads, while the opener, "Conqueror of the Mourningstar", crawls along and crushes you, while providing some excellent guitarplaying and a twisted solo. Another one of my favorites is "Confessions of A Strange Anxiety", with my favorite guitar solo on the whole album and an interesting vocal performance. However, the instrumental track "The Lonely Walker" didn't really do much for me. The solo is good, but the rest of the song kind of bores me. The Chasm have made some excellent instrumental tracks on later albums, but this one didn't appeal to me. The last two tracks, "The Cosmos From Within" and "Stair to Aspirations" are from their demo days. These tracks sound more like typical death metal, and more great guitarwork and even some nice basslines, even though they do sound a bit out of place.
Overall, this album was the foundation for the Chasm's later, better works, which go in a more progressive direction, as opposed to the doom influences on this album. It's still a great death metal release, it's just not the best place to start. Make this the last album from The Chasm that you own. If you're new to the band, start with "Conjuration of the Spectral Empire" or "Deathcult for Eternity" instead, as they are superior albums and new fans of The Chasm may find this a bit hard to swallow.