Chaos Invocation – Devil, Stone & Man

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German black metal collective Chaos Invocation takes the left-hand path on the fourth album 'Devil, Stone & Man'. During their 18 years career the songwriting talent has grown strong and deep. Though they had already received plaudits from the fans of the genre, the sheer strength of the guitar department is now more focused than on the previous album 'Reaping Seasons, Bloodshed Beyond'. The majority of the songs fall under the category of the modern standard of black metal. The guitars give way to plenty of hooks and the vocals are excellent.

The cohesion and raw direction of the songs are immediately showcased on the album’s opener ‘Strike of the Dominator’s Fist’. Balancing speed and aggression, one cannot understate the massive sense of violence that is enough to attract fans of Valkyrja, Ascension and Ondskapt. In this context, Chaos Invocation takes all the influences from the Swedish black metal bands and foregrounds them through heavy guitar storms and blast beats. Although nothing groundbreaking here, the next track ‘A Stranger’s Pale Hand’ evokes catchy rhythm guitars and given the fact that the songs are mostly played at a fast tempo, the guitars on the album are insanely memorable. The melodic passages give the song a dark feeling with the atmosphere of the tremolo-picked riffs and melodies providing hooks. Although you can hardly find a German band that imbibes the Swedish style of black metal, Chaos Invocation focuses on the lead guitars.

Very often Chaos Invocation provides climaxes to the music on a song such as ‘Diabolical Hammer’ which builds on the craftsmanship. The slow build-up plunges into a slow gloomy tempo with the outstanding screeches of the rhythm guitars and the furious drumming perfectly upping the tempo. Despite the variety of the riffing some songs contain slower parts, but they’re still full of hooks and melodic lead guitars, backed up by malicious growls.

Odonata Fields’ is full of atmospheric reverb that relies on the lead guitars. The German quintet offers a lot of diversity as they eschew the aggression, but the drums definitely save outbreaks for the occasional blast beats. The majority of the songs settles on the mid-tempo. This somehow gives the opportunity for the lead guitars to unleash the utmost creativity on a number of tracks. ‘Where We Have Taken the Cross’ delivers typical blast beats and the composition would also include an array of furious black metal riffing. ‘Devil, Stone & Man’ is a fine album that features a unique concoction of riffs. The lurking malice exudes from the growls and it somehow adds malignity to the music. Every instrument like the bass guitar, drums, and guitar is precisely measured.

Devil, Stone & Man’ is a worthy album in the band’s discography. As on whole the eight tracks are overwhelmingly heavy, the guitars paint a gloomy picturesque of the abyss. During songs like ‘Triple Fire’ the atmosphere casts grey melancholy, but as the song progresses the guitars becomes sharp and raw. One of the remarks here is that the band shows great use of technical skills.  The fourth album really stands out as an achievement. While the guitar solo encapsulates the song, the tremolo-picked riffs give it a denser feel offering an excellent sense of balance between the slow and fast tempos.

 

 

In  the powerful ‘Curses upon You’ the furious riffing and the drums maintain speed and aggression. Basically, the songs have a great scale of technical skills. The strong element of the vocals and the guitars fit perfectly with the music in general. Although the clean vocals were unnecessary they somehow prove that the band is setting up a new paradigm. The final track ‘The Revolting Abyss’ is far more focused on the songwriting composition. With rhythm guitars down pouring scathing melodies, Chaos Invocation’s sonic innovation draws plenty of nuances from melodic black metal.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 8/10
8

Chaos Invocation’s new approach marks a huge fulfillment for the band which has been evolving throughout the last decade. One should not underestimate the accomplishment of these Germans. This is highly recommended for fans of modern black metal.

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