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Chimera – Gloria Mortis

Gloria Mortis
by Mark Machlay at 07 July 2022, 9:05 AM

The Polish black/heavy metal band CHIMERA has returned after a lengthy absence to deliver their second full-length album “Gloria Mortis”, released last February of 2022. The band was established at the tail end of 2013 in Warsaw, spearheaded by guitarist Rafal “Charon” Mazur. Soon he had a stable lineup with Andrzej Ruszkowski on drums, and Grzegorz "Dante" Ptak on vocals and guitar while the bassist seat sat vacant at first. In the meantime, the group worked hard to produce their first bit of original material. After a few rehearsals with fellow bass players, Kuba Cieśluk joined the lineup. In May of 2014, CHIMERA played at the Avangarda club in Opoczno, showing their faces on the live stage for the first time. In September of the same year, the band entered the studio to record their first full-length album but had issues with the recordings and “Transmutation” would not be released until 2016.

It would seem a lot of shaking up would take place in CHIMERA in the six years since their debut. Bassist Kuba Cieśluk, left sometime before 2017 with Pawel Koziel joining for a short time until Wiktor Walilko would join in 2020 and continue onto the new record. Strangely, “Dante” would leave just this year to be replaced with new lead singer and guitarist Krzysztof Gałecki. The new album continues their tradition of both releasing their music independently and singing in both Polish and English for a crossover appeal. 2 tracks sung in both Polish and English, enriched with three interludes. Vocal parts for the new release were initially recorded by Grzegorz “Dante” Ptak, but in January there was a change and his place was taken by Krzysztof Gałecki from the band STYGMATH, who will also be a rhythm guitarist. The album was recorded in a variety of places. The drums were recorded with Filip Hałucha at Heinrich House Studio while guitars were recorded by Witek Nowak at Devil’s Tail Production and vocals were recorded at Fire Studio in Warsaw.

Writing a review for a band that sings or speaks in a foreign tongue to mine often presents problems – mostly in the spoken word bits does the momentum of the whole tend to lose me – but, judging “Gloria Mortis” on its musical components and the lyrics that are sung in English, CHIMERA certainly delivers on their signature brand of black metal-infused heavy metal. The album begins one of the three numbered interludes that mostly provides atmosphere for a non-Polish speaker like me, but once second track “Dunkelheit” arrives, it showcases a band playing with styles. It starts out a bit doomy, drony and atmospheric until the drums pick up the speed and Krzysztof Gałecki lets loose with a guttural growl. It’s still very much death metal/black metal in color but contains much melodic contour. The following two songs are more strongly death metal with plenty of double bass and tremolo picking throughout. About halfway through we come to the second numbered interlude followed by “Immortal Self”, the guitarist leans heavier into that almost twangy, trembly timbre that was started with the early METALLICA records but overdoes it with all the tremolo picking. The sound leans hard into the heavy thrash style but does little new or unique to get my interest. Unfortunately, there is little innovation throughout the rest of the record and by the third interlude at the end, I grew a bit bored with the style. On the plus side, this album would appeal to the post metal fan that wants to lean a bit into the black and death metal worlds as well.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. I
2. Dunkelheit
3. Necrosis of Soul
4. Madness
5. Nieistniejąc
6. II
7. Immortal Self
8. The Bable Tower
9. Asmodeus
10. Dziki Sęp
11. Among Wolves
12. III
Rafał “Charon” Mazur – Guitar
Krzysztof Gałecki – Vocals & Guitar
Andrzej Ruszkowski – Drums
Wiktor Waliłko – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 06 December 2022

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