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Chasmdweller – Bacterial Locus

Chasmdweller
Bacterial Locus
by Oli Gonzalez at 09 May 2022, 6:05 AM

Spawning from Ontario, Canada, the duo of CHASMDWELLER have arrived bringing an onslaught of doom infested grindcore. Expect dirty riffs, frantic fast paced action, and heavy as hell gutturals. My first impressions on the album work where that, to put it delicately this was not going to pretty! A 7 minute track in the shape of “Septic Coma” is first. To be really honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with this song. A pretty negative and bleak outlook to have and poor start to this review, but that’s how I truly feel. There’s no doubt there’s some talent on display, especially with the bast beats. Still, I think these faster intense parts were over utilised, and there needs to be better progression of ideas. Plus the vocals are difficult to understand and the production pretty raw. Hopefully things improve.

The slower doomier opening for “Seven Lucid Mitochondria” was pure dirt! I could feel the bass reverberating in my ear phones. Nice! There’s still elements of those faster grind-death metal elements, but this song cleverly interchanged between those two tempos and textures in the early parts. Still, I do wonder if it’s perhaps a little bit too muddy here, and some of the faster riffs feel a little copy and paste, cookie cutter. That’s until slightly before the 7 minute mark. That painful wall of sound comes to a screeching halt. We hear a gentle acoustic guitar riff with a subtle ambient synth undertone. With Donny’s vocals sounding deep, full, and with an optimally high level of reverb, it creates the illusion of a demonic presence uttering a message from another earthly dimension. That’s a thing of beauty. Then when the riffs kick in for a final furlong of old school death metal intensity, you truly can feel that brutality. That’s the key really. When it’s coming in short bursts. Not 7 minute monoliths, like in the first song. I felt more optimistic about the next song, “Wing Of The Lotus”. There’s a definitely a more pronounced groove and rhythmic component to this song. That’s much needed, again. Rather than just mindless blast beats. They used the idea of having a short ambient break in the middle of the song again to fantastic effect. That created an eerie sense of apprehension. Then building on that with what is a much more groove laden and down right unsettling guitar riff! Gnarly. This just proves that the duo are very capable songwriters.

“Oracle Of Innumerable Truths” opens with a thunderous passage! No time for cheesy intros. Just an onslaught of sound! That being said, I do wonder if I can sustain my attention for 10 minutes of this song. There is an attempt to add melody into the guitar passages, and it does work! Still, I can’t get round the unintelligible vocals. It’s just noise at this stage; no story or lyrics to become invested in. there’s most certainly some gems in this rough patch though. The guitar riff at the 4:20 mark is dissonant, dark, shining brightly and cutting above the rest of the mix. I love that! The final 2 and a half minutes or so is a much slower passage, again with the ambient synths. This really is where the band plays to its strengths. With a much more slower methodically approach to song writing. Not just throwing in blast beats for the sake of it. Which is one way I could describe the last song, “Photosynthetic Attunement”. The intensity is definitely there. Saying that, it get’s too much and you can’t appreciate it if it’s been in your ear drums for several minutes before hand.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 4
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Septic Coma
2. Seven Lucid Mitochondria
3. Wing Of The Lotus
4. Oracle Of Innumerable Truths
5. Photosynthetic Attunement
Lineup:
Zach – Drums/Guitars/Bass/Electronics
Donny - Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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