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CHARON
CHARON
Banished
(Sepulchral Voice Records)
11:49min

Even though this German act has been around since 1997 already, I never really heard of them until I received this three track 7" EP on the newly founded Sepulchral Voice label... According to their info sheet they only released two demos prior to this but obviously gained a lot of experiences through playing out live very often, as the quality of the songs is really impressive. I personally don't really think that the band's name was the most clever choice as it lacks the raw attitude of their musical approach a bit too much... but at least their logo and artwork makes up for it (which is in the typical underground style). What you get here are two own songs ('Banished' and 'Banner Of Anguish') as well as a cover of PROTECTOR's 'Mortuary Nightmare' (from the band's highly underrated 1991 "A Shedding Of Skin" album), all of them performed in a very raw, yet totally intense manner. The label describes them like this: "CHARON play in the aggressive and rather technical vein of bands such as DEATH, PESTILENCE, MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE etc. combined with dark atmosphereic leads from Black Metal influences and mid-pitched vokills." Hmm... I don't really think that fits them too well. There's the overall rawness (inkl. the vocal style) of classic ORDER FROM CHAOS to be found, combined with the riff intensity of early SLAYER and a kinda Black Metal-ish aggression... a combination which they also used for the PROTECTOR tune, which - in that respect - almost sounds like one of their own compositions. Don't get me wrong here, the songs never sound sloppy or anything (not at all!), but they are by no means compareable to those rather technical Death Metal masters either. CHARON's material is far more underground and to the point. And therefore I really like it A LOT! It seems Sepulchral Voice isn't selling single copies of the EP (only to distros and mailorder), but you still might ask them where you can order a copy at: sepulchralvoice@web.de

Frank Stöver

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