Chaotian – Effigies of Obsolescence

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The Copenhagen-based death metal trio Chaotian may be newcomers to some, but in fact the band has been among the rising acts in Europe for some time. 'Effigies of Obsolescence' is the first studio album released via Me Saco un Ojo Records and Dark Descent Records on June 24th, 2022. Following two demo releases, it seems these Danes are adept at the visceral level. Chaotian exudates filthy, rotten death metal, brutal and old school. The use of the down-tuned guitars reawakens that 90s quality to create a dense and murky sound. The production on this album has these cavernous-sounding riffs and the guttural growls provide something visceral to the songs.

The first full-length album brims with blood-soaked gore and gives us a raw material that will stand as one of the year’s strongest contenders for old-school death metal. The Danish trio presents an amalgam of U.S. death metal in its most primitive approach and with this achievement, Chaotian has re-structured its sound from the two demo releases. With its fetid, foul air the opening track ‘Gangrene Dream’ exudes vile death metal riffs. The murkiness of the atmosphere is ridden with sickening morbidity. The riffs are brutal and grotesquely cavernous.  Chaotian brings something grisly to the fans of the genre when guitarist/vocalist Søren Willatzen showcases his deep guttural growls. ‘Effigies of Obsolescence’ isn’t quite in the same category as the ordinary death metal album: the quality of the riffing gnaws the bowels of your soul.

Drummer/vocalist Andreas Nordgreen injects a massive, brutal paces that contrasts with the heavy riffage and the essential quality of the guttural grunts degenerates into something rotten. The gut-punching bass guitar chords of Jonas Grønborg emit a ripping sound. ‘Into Megatopheth’ begins with a sadistic guitar tone that seems to be even heavier than the demo effort. The drumming pace builds into double bass and there are plenty of blast beats throughout the track. Admittedly, Chaotian has perfected its sound on the album. The grinding elements are focused on the fast pace, even though the seven tracks are neither fast nor slow. Musically, the band seems to be influenced by Rottrevore.

At times the drums become steady in all their diversity: they carry a brutal intensity on the title track ‘Effigies of Obsolescence’ which is ridden with filthy riffs and sick guttural grunts. Displaying their untamed ferociousness, Chaotian pushes the boundaries to explore the grimy riffs. The guitar tone is consistently cruel, beleaguered by belching growls. The drums bludgeon their way through while the breakdowns are damned nasty. Through the album’s time length of 40 minutes, the drums impose ruthless blasting attacks while the guitar solos are layered with extra ‘murkiness. ‘Adipocere Feast’ offers a brutal slab of old-school death metal. This is to say that Chaotian managed to restrain the raw leaden aura of classic death metal.

The exceptional ability to convey something fresh and rotten highlights the outstanding performance of the trio. ‘Effigies of Obsolescence’ reeks with a putrid mass of revulsion. The band has succeeded in bringing a visceral piece of cavernous death metal. At the same time, Chaotian exposes the modus operandi of the New York style of death metal. The nauseous sense of petrifaction rapidly becomes brutal in ‘Etched Shadows’.

The songwriting emphasizes the guttural effects against the rotten riffs. The rest of the songs mutate into some eerie moments that spread like some slow, creepy infestations of classic doom metal which again pinpoints the approach. ‘Fustuarium’ pulls some influence from old Cannibal Corpse and Autopsy, but the intensity of the riffs and the grinding drums offers a grisly and morbid treat with the bass guitar given enough space to shine as the shooting guitar solos highlight this track. Due to the slowness of the tempo and the abrupt change in the drumming pace ‘Effigies of Obsolescence’ perfectly fits a sort of zombie flick movie. The atmosphere of the devilish grunts is rather ghoulish and appalling. While the final track ‘Festering Carcinolith’ exudes creepy gutturals, the guitars maintain the brutality and gore in depicting graphical images of disinterring bodies.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 10/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 10/10
  • Originality 10/10
9.6

In conclusion, Chaotian’s first full-length album stands as one of my favorite albums of the year 2022. If you have missed the band’s 2020 compilation release ‘Festering Excarnation’, then I highly recommend you to check out the latest output from these Danish freaks.

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