Ever since the beginning of Black Metal, bands have continued to incorporate other musical elements into this extreme sub-genre of metal. The push for a more progressive Black Metal sound is very common these days amongst the new bands.
Italy’s one man band, Chiral, sets out with a debut EP titled, “Abisso,” hoping to capture the imaginations of a more opened minded Black Metal audience. The band’s sound still maintains traditional Black Metal qualities, but the deviations from the traditional formula really standout. One example, is that the band composes vibrant sounding classical acoustic guitar arrangements. These short moments of classical guitar soloing are a unique way to transition away from the extreme Black Metal. I was impressed by the overall arrangements, but sometimes when you are listening to extreme music, you really don’t expect the music to suddenly change from fast and aggressive, to soothing and melodic rather quickly.
This album is written in a style that is very intricate, where the songs all fit together, but at the same time do not take on one common musical theme. The introduction “Atto I: Disceso Nel Buio,” is a slow ominous keyboard and guitar arrangement that builds up a strong ambient Black Metal foundation. The vocal style at first takes on a more low sounding death metal growl, but fades to make way for the instantly recognizable Black Metal vocal style. He sounds a bit like Abbath from Immortal, but with a vocal higher pitch. “Atto I: Oblio,” is an introduction to Chiral’s progressive Black Metal style. The song really took me by surprise once the intense riff faded and made way for an acoustic piece.
The main focus of this album happens to be the third composition, “Atto II: Abisso.” This long piece of extreme music takes many musical turns and features a high level of complex musicianship. The guitar playing is simply amazing because he can create such grim frost bitten sounding riffs and then use his fingers to make technical acoustic solos. About half way through the song, this colossal dark atmosphere begins to take form. The sound is very climatic and slowly fades to a mellow acoustic guitar riff.
From start to finish, Chiral’s, “Abisso,” will not lead you into a world of repetition and predictably. This is a form of music that hopes to change people’s perception of what Black Metal is by throwing in some unique elements. The programming and production, for one guy, is really good. I think my only complaint is that I felt like he could have pushed for even larger sounding musical atmospheres, but his approach works well with the sound he was going for on this EP. If you enjoy progressive Black Metal, extreme music that does not follow a repetitive blue-print, you will enjoy this album. Intense horribly distorted sounding riffs can get old after a while, so an acoustic riff might offer a pleasant deviation.