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Chamber of Mirrors – Apocalyptic Dream (demo)

Chamber of Mirrors
Apocalyptic Dream (demo)
by Savely Nevzorov at 12 July 2022, 8:01 PM

There's a certain stigma that seems to exist when it comes to one-man Black Metal projects. The general public mistakenly finds Black Metal as a genre that is not demanding in terms of performance and recording skills. Plus, this whole studio-only vibe seems to make such a band something less serious. While I fundamentally disagree with these statements, I have to admit that Black Metal is extremely oversaturated with low-effort projects with a quality that leaves much to be desired. Perhaps it is because many young musicians themselves would believe that it is borderline easy to make a good Black Metal record, only to stumble upon the fact that going beyond the genre’s various cliches and finding its sound may be quite problematic. With that being said, “Apocalyptic Dream” by CHAMBER OF MIRRORS, may have nothing to surprise you with, but it is utilizing all the means it has to keep you entertained and involved. Most times it succeeds.

The Black Metal scene is paradoxically orthodox and innovative at the same time, so you rather strive for experiments – like all sorts of experimental Black Metal acts from ORANSSI PAZUZU to BLUT AUS NORD do – or stick to the roots while trying to find your special take on the old ways, risking to stuck in utilizing the same cliches without actually contributing with anything fresh to the topic. “Apocalyptic Dream” falls into the second category, and while it is not quite there yet in terms of finding its sound, the direction this project is moving in seems quite right. CHAMBER OF MIRRORS plays Atmospheric Black Metal, with SUMMONING-like keys, Cascadian-style guitars, mid-high harsh extreme vocals, and classic occult and anti-Christian appeal. The demo lasts a little over 20 minutes, but this short grasp leaves a pleasant impression. It’s well-enough orchestrated, mixed appropriately, and perfectly listenable and enjoyable.

As I said before, the project is not quite there yet in terms of coming up with its special sound. The track “Cloaked by the Shadows of the Night” missed some development, the payoff felt a little insignificant compared to what preceded it. The intro and outro compositions on this record are a kind of post-modernist statement on their own, as those are not distinguished by anything intriguing or interesting, do not add any atmosphere to the record, and only serve the purpose of clogging the time on the record simply because one of the genre clichés obliges “dark and scary” Black Metal to have this kind of thing on board. The mixing is fine, but the voice could have been put a little lower in the mix. That is just a personal preference though and I know people who like it the other way around. The songs on this record are rough and require some refinement and further reflection. However, we should bear in mind that this is a demo tape and that these songs may eventually pop up on a later long play in a reimagined way. Still, it’s a solid debut and a good glimpse of what we may expect from CHAMBER OF MIRRORS in the future. Curious to see where this project is going with their next release.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Bed of Thorns
3. Apocalyptic Dream
4. Cloaked by the Shadows of the Night
5. Voice from the Distant Winds
6. Outro
Lineup:
Mortem – All instruments, vocals, and lyrics
Record Label: Independent
     


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