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Somewhat Lacking. - 70%

Perplexed_Sjel, April 1st, 2010

Having left no stone unturned when it came to exploring Chaos Moon’s sophomore full-length, entitled ‘Languor into Echoes, Beyond’, I thought it was high time that that I delved into the bands debut as I had spent very little time getting to grips with it in comparison with how much I explored the sophomore, a record which was released within three months of the debut. Given this fact, I didn’t enter into the dark abyss of ‘Origin of Apparition’ with the expectation that this record would differ immensely from the debut. Instead, I firmly believed that the debut would sound almost identical to the sophomore and I was almost right. There are many similarities between ‘Origin of Apparition’ and the mesmerising ‘Languor into Echoes, Beyond’. In fact, there are very few differences between the two and yet, I still cannot manage to muster up the same levels of enthusiasm towards the debut as I do the ambient inspired ‘Languor into Echoes, Beyond’. This may be due to the lack of long, dark ambient passages which stress the importance of integrating some sense of beauty into a normally aggressive type of black metal, thus making it far more accessible to the ear, rather than irritating to the senses.

The additional information supplied suggests that this is seen as a counter record to ‘Languor into Echoes, Beyond’ and that goes some way to explaining why the two sound so similar. Although this may be the case, as I previously said, I cannot seem to find this record as agreeable as the sophomore, which appears to be more mature in its exploration of chaos, filth and sublimity. Songs such as the title track have a distinct wall-of-sound stylistic approach attached to them. Reminiscent in some ways to bands like Velvet Cacoon, or Wrath of the Weak, Chaos Moon’s main composer, named Esoterica (Void), is certainly a skilled musician when it comes to a sense of conviction and integrating atmospheric ambient passages into abnormally dark musical territories, as shown delightfully on the title track which showcases those whirlwind sounding guitars, disfigured by aggressive distortion, alongside what appears to be a monotonous, repetitious and standardised drum machine which lacks cohesion and grace, but appears to be settled beside the chaotic tremolo approach which dominates many of the songs, including the hostile ‘Outro, Endless Asphyxia’.

Songs such as the aforementioned do entertain the idea of slow moving ambient sections, but these aren’t as imperative to the record as they are on ‘Languor into Echoes, Beyond’, which highlights the importance of beauty through chaos with an excellent use of well known movies samples taken from ‘Memento’ during emotive epics like ‘Simulacrum of Mirrors’. Songs such as this and the immaculate ‘The Palterer’ are fine examples of what the sophomore could achieve, but the debut offers only one truly outstanding song in the form of ‘And So Are the Words That Never Made It I’ (though the second part of this particular song does, somewhat, produce a similar sound to that of the sophomore and songs like ‘The Palterer’ with an exquisite use of keyboards in the introduction) which, despite its use of a shallow percussion section, is the only song which forges out a feeling of longevity which the other songs fall short of achieving. The song highlights the importance of monstrous, but infectious riffs within a tightly compacted atmosphere that is rounded off well by the subtle keyboards which play such a significant role in the power of the song and the success of the sophomore.

This suggests that the usage of subtle keyboards could potentially transform a common, or generic black metal band into one of invention and sublime creativity simply through the use of touching keyboards which sprinkle a dash of sensitivity to the atmospheres, as delicately shown on ‘And So Are the Words That Never Made It II’. Much of Chaos Moon’s approach is all about sticking to traditions of sub-genres such as the depressive one, but the keyboards add that much needed sense of spark that is lacking from much of the approach play by the band in other areas, specifically in the percussion which relies too heavily of blast beats and aggression when the keyboards are looking to add a sense of texture. In my opinion, the vocals also lack in depth. They’re typical of the sub-genre of depressive black metal and are often overshadowed by the clumsy percussion, an element which isn’t helped by the constricting production, which gives the material a dense, enclosed feel, whilst the sophomore focuses on an open style, allowing even the percussion to express itself wonderfully alongside the cleaner guitars on songs like ‘The Palterer’. A decent enough debut, but not up to scratch in regards to the material on the sophomore.