Distributor/Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Buy Album: http://www.nwnprod.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=24&products_id=17977&zenid=61e5a2d78d6415b43b86322df64b27f1
Band Website: http://chaosechoes.org/
Stefan Thanneur – Bass, Vocals, Effects
Ilmar Uibo – Drums, Vocals
Kalevi Uibo – Guitars, Vocals
Fabien Furter – Guitars, Vocals
1. Senses Of The Nonexistent
2. Interzone IV: Intoxicating Beauty
3. Advent Of My Genesis
4. Interzone V: Advent Of My Bliss
6. Interzone VI: Realisation
7. Soul Ruiner
With an almost unreadable spiky band logo and a dried-out corpse on the cover art, it’s a bit surprising when Chaos Echoes don’t turn out to be black metal purists. On this, their debut full length, the French four piece certainly flirt with Scandinavian darkness, but their main source of inspiration is actually drone music. There’s no hooks or choruses to sing along with and instead there are low, rumbling waves of distortion that seem to last forever.
It’s a tough, challenging listen and like Sunn O))) before them, Chaos Echoes are difficult to enjoy in the traditional sense. But there’s something enthralling about the wall of sound they pummel you with. Play this in the car on the way to a festival with your mates and you’ll kill the party stone dead, but stick it on when you’re alone with a pair of big speakers to amplify things to an obscene level and ‘Transient’ will make a lot more sense.
This is an album that is best heard at volumes where you feel your internal organs shaking. It’s a gruelling hour of escalating noise, almost devoid of vocals and while it does occasionally sound like a thousand mosquitos whining together, it’s also remarkably atmospheric.
Granted, there a few minor concessions to making this accessible for drone-newcomers – ‘Soul Ruiner’ even has a guitar solo in it – but this doesn’t negate the swirling kaleidoscope of noise they make. They’re a bit more accessible than Sunn O))), but even so they’re never going to flirt with anything approaching mainstream appeal. ‘Senses Of The Nonexistent’ for instance is an opening track designed to nauseate more people than it entices. It’s a grinding nine minutes of distortion, power chords reverberating over a distant bass rumble and endless waves of tripped out nastiness. You’re more likely to vomit than dance, but make it through to the end and you’ll just find more darkness.
Things only get worse when the vocals finally appear on ‘Advent Of My Genesis.’ Here and on the equally unpleasant ‘Kyorakushugi’ Chaos Echoes’ black metal roots become clearest. There’s lots of negative chord thrashing, oppressive chanting and the screechy voice box ranting over the top of it sounds like it’s coming from a demon. You know that bit in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ where Tom Hanks gets tinnitus while watching his mates getting torn to bloody shreds? These songs are like that, but in a world where his hearing never came back.
There’s zero chance of them ever gracing even the smallest stage at Download then, but nevertheless ‘Transient’ is an impressive record. It’s a glimpse into a realm of perpetual suffering, but as potential successors to a legacy set by Stephen O’Malley, Khanate and Cult Of Luna, these guys look very promising indeed. Plenty of listeners will provide convincing arguments as to why it’s just pretentious guff, but if you’re in a specific mood and don’t mind things getting bleak, Chaos Echoes will be just the thing.