Thursday, October 20, 2011
Get Into: Deathchain
Here at Trial By Ordeal we really miss Morbid Angel. But I have a theory. Last year Morbid Angel's collective soul was siphoned away by a cunning and unfathomably powerful denizen of the void, leaving Azagthoth, Vincent, and those two other guys dazed and clueless. For its own inscrutable reasons, that tentacled being conferred the stolen power on an obscure Finnish deathrash band. Bathed in morbid illuminations of the highest order, Deathchain saw a new path open before them, and recorded Death Gods, one of 2010's best and most underappreciated releases.
You will be shocked by the way Deathchain channel Morbid Angel, from their riffing style to their atmosphere of cosmic horror. At first I thought these guys were simply a "perfect clone band" who had achieved the nigh-unthinkable goal of completely absorbing their main influence's style. And I loved it--these guys really do sound just as good as Morbid Angel. But the more I listen to it the more I think Deathchain are onto their own thing. The songwriting here is busier and more dynamic than Morbid Angel's, and the overall feeling is much more immediate, less austere. Where Morbid Angel seemed to cultivate a kind of estrangement from the listener, Deathchain unload on him with a storm of frantic riffola and slamming breakdowns. Morbid Angel is Extremely Serious Music. Deathchain is dark shit, but it's also fun as hell.
"The Lion-Head" refers to the Lamassu, guardian deities of the ancient Mesopotamian civilizations. This track slays all the way through, thundering in with a convoluted riff over compressive blasting before opening out into growling chants of "DEMONIC! SEDUCER!" But the golden moment comes just before the 2 minute mark, where the tempo picks up again and Deathchain unleash a beautiful lead melody worthy of Dissection, Sacramentum, or any other classic melodic black metal band. Definitely my favorite off the album.
Basically, get Death Gods. And if you can afford it, buy it. It's well worth owning, and these guys don't get nearly enough attention outside Finland!