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Conjuration Of The Spectral Empire
(Lux Inframundis Productions / Witches Brew)

You definitely need quite a lot of self-confidence to start an album with a five and a half minutes long instrumental track... And in order to really succeed on such a mission, you furthermore not only got to have the technical skills, but also a good sense for exciting and strong songwriting. Chicago's THE CHASM are long enough around to fullfill both these requirements, and more. 'Deathcult Arrival', the opener in question here, couldn't have been a better choice to kick off their newest full length "Conjuration Of The Spectral Empire" as it constantly increases its energy level, pretty much in the same way as SLAYER's legendary 'Hell Awaits' opening, without sounding like it. What a cool song to start with! Next up is 'The Conjuration', which comes up with guitar pieces that heavily remind me on classic (pre-album) THORNS material, while 'Dark Cloud' has got an old DISSECTION vibe to it - just more brutal in the vocal department and with additional quotes from classic 80s Thrash. What I really appreciate about these guys is the fact that they don't try to be the fastest, most brutal or most evil band on this goddamn planet. They just write their material straight from the heart and therefore its got a lot more balls and is certainly way more Metal than a lot of the stuff that currently gets released within this genre. There's certain songs that are pretty long ('Brand The Mournful Liberation', 'Travelling Through Chaos' or 'Procession To The Infraworld') and they feature a lot of moody, atmospheric parts, but not courtesy of a cheap keyboard (there's just guitars, drums and bass on this album!), but simply through their great varied songwriting! 'A Soulstorm Bleeds Over The Horizon' certainly needs another special mention in that department here, as its ending (which directly leads into the album closer and second instrumental, 'Procession To The Infraworld') even reminds me on MAIDEN during their "Powerslave" period (remember the middle part of 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner'?). All in all THE CHASM have managed to create a great, really unique mixture of old school heavy Thrash, Death and Black Metal. Great band, great material and an overall very cool packaging, even with a video track as a bonus... Too bad that the industry hasn't noticed this little gem yet, so that the band constantly has to struggle, while releasing their material on rather obscure underground labels. For further info check out or the in-depth interview with vocalist / guitarist Daniel Corchado somewhere else on our website.

Frank Stöver

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