Chaos Moon
Eschaton Memoire

Every now and then, an album comes around that is more than just an enjoyable listening experience. On these rare occasions, a sincere mental and spiritual transportation occurs, leaving the listener mystified, transformed, and perhaps even staggered by how intense the music is and how wonderfully it flows. A raging current interspersed by gentle brooks, Chaos Moon’s newest effort is such an album. 2017 has been an immensely successful year for black metal, but Eschaton Memoire has almost certainly ousted all contenders for the title of best record of the year in this haunting, beautiful genre.

It begins innocently enough. An effect-drenched guitar plucks out a few somber notes, gradually building and contorting, gaining substance and sending chills down the spine. Suddenly, all hell breaks loose as the guitars swell and chaotic drumming enters the fray. Chaos Moon has been around for quite some time, but never has the band sounded this inventive and intent on total sonic destruction. The guitars and synths swirl in unpredictable patterns while the drummer goes absolutely mad behind his kit, relenting only to lull the listener into a false sense of security.. It’s rare to see such free-form technicality from a black metal band in this day and age; most groups stick to a formulaic sound that usually comes off as repetitive and tiring.

The songwriting present on Eschaton Memoire is the complete opposite. The band’s abstract flow proves to be a double edged sword, however. There are very few hooks or instantly memorable moments to be found throughout the album. The vocals ground the music somewhat, but the overall sound is not exactly concrete. That is not to say that the music isn’t extremely enthralling, but it requires a few listens for the individual riffs and fills to ingrain themselves in the listener’s head. This is an album that requires some deep delving into in order to unlock its secrets – preferably on a strong mixture of mind-altering substances.

While it is made abundantly clear that Chaos Moon is a band that puts atmosphere above all else, the individual performances of each member are quite impressive as well. Each guitarist employs a number of different playing styles prevalent in black metal, channeling each note to coalesce with the synths in a fascinating way. The drumming in particular is absolutely phenomenal. Eschaton Memoire is packed with lightning-fast fills, hellish blast-beats, and furious double bass. Most of the time, the instruments mesh together perfectly. At times, however, the drums outshine and outpace the rest of the band, creating an uneven sound. The more technical moments are not a perfect fit for the extremely psychedelic and atmospheric sound, but it works quite well regardless.

Eschaton Memoire is not a flawless album, but it comes eerily close. Chaos Moon has succeeded in creating a hypnotic, psychedelic journey through death and dying, bringing together familiar black metal elements with new levels of introspective madness. With yet another album reaching the peak of what black metal hopes to achieve, there is no telling where this stunning group of musicians will go from here. This is without a doubt one of black metal’s strongest offerings of 2017.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin Cedotal
December 5th, 2017

Comments

  1. Commented by: bast

    Great review


  2. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    Yes it is, and i enjoyed this review a lot.


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