Chasma - Codex Constellatia

Posted on Friday, April 05, 2013

I don’t know if Chasma considers themselves to be part of the Cascadian Black Metal scene (they’re from Oregon, which is in the area where that scene is located), but they do have a lot in common with other bands in that scene. The most notable similarities would be with Wolves in the Throne Room and Ash Borer. Chasma is fond of the long, hypnotic, repetitive song structures reminiscent of Burzum or Weakling, but these guys seem to be going for a more “astral” or ”deep space” feeling. One of the primary detractions that I’ve heard about this band from many quarters is that their songs are overly long. This is true. The songs on this album feel like they’ve been beaten into the floor. I didn’t particularly mind that part too much. I’ve survived seeing Burning Witch live (where they did a twenty minute feedback solo in a song that was already dreadfully long) so Chasma has a ways to go before I give up on them. My main gripe with this album isn’t that the songs are overly long. My issues with Codex Constellatia center on the fact that I didn’t think the music was heavy enough. The songs could have been punishingly heavy if the band actually tried to go in that direction. The production itself isn’t to blame. The instruments are all clearly discernible and nothing is buried. If anything, the Moribund Cult has always given us albums that have exceptional sound for the band’s genre, and Codex Constellatia continues that legacy. This sounds like a conscious choice by the band. Chasma isn’t using a lot of distorted guitar and what they do use isn’t really down-tuned or very heavily distorted. The Ambient nature of some of their song structures could have been enhanced with darker guitar tones or a little more distortion. Maybe I’m being a bit too picky. When I hear music like this, I think of bands like Celtic Frost or Triptykon (technically the same band, I know…), both of which are heavy as fuck while still incorporating Dark Ambient and horror soundtrack elements into their sound. Chasma is a good band and this album is also pretty interesting. My fear is that this group is slowly but surely entering the Post-Black Metal genre where they just play weird shit that sounds like it might have been influenced by Black Metal but really isn’t dark, evil or brutal at all. Hopefully, that won’t happen and they’ll rediscover their evil roots and produce a truly dark and twisted album next time.

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(4) Comment(s)

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Risky said:

Ash Borer isn’t from Oregon… And chasma doesn’t sound like wolves in the throne room. Did you even listen to the album? Not heavy?!?!

Posted on Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 01:17:32 PM

admin said:

Ychoril didn’t say that Ash Borer is from Oregon. He said that Chasma is. He also didn’t say that Chasma isn’t “heavy,” just not heavy enough. Did you even read the review?

Posted on Monday, April 08, 2013 - 04:56:45 AM

OnlyInDeath said:

How exactly do you turn “Chasma is a good band and this album is also pretty interesting” and a score of 8/10 into some kind of accusation that he didn’t listen to it?

Also, I’m not really a fan of WitTR, and I haven’t heard Chasma at all, but if Ychoril described the music on this album even slightly accurately I find it hard to believe a comparison between the two bands is unfounded.

Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 04:32:58 PM

Ychoril said:

Chasma and Wolves In The Throneroom are both fond of long, drawn out songs and they both have a shared Burzum influence.  They might go different ways when it comes to how they show that influence but it isn’t like I’m comparing Chasma to something completely off the wall.  I like both bands and I think that if you’re a fan of one, you’ll probably like the other.

Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 01:22:46 AM

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