Joni Öhman – Bass
Matti Hämäläinen – Guitars
Tuomo Vänskä – Vocals
Jouni Tuovinen – Guitars
Markus Lehto – Drums
3. Chokehold of Shame
4. Narcissus in Your Mirror
In Chained, Khiral give us (as their bio says) death metal, with a bit of a twist. In this case, that seems to be some groove metal influence, that predominantly sounds like Lamb of God. The death metal is firmly at the core here, but there are certainly some layers and elements here that call Lamb of God and their ilk to mind. This is because of something in the general approach and production style.
Still, this is death metal at its heart, so maybe Burn the Priest (Lamb of God’s earlier, more death metal-y incarnation) might be a more appropriate comparison point, though the writing on “Chained” feels more refined. It’s vicious and forceful from start to finish, you’ll find very little in the way of clean breaks here, just the occasional dip into something with a bit more groove to it. The vocals switch with relative ease between low growls and higher screeches, though they don’t pack quite the dynamics of some more seasoned vocalists. I must admit that after multiple listens, they were starting to wear on me.
This combines with the fairly uninspired song-writing and ends up making the album pass in a bit of a nondescript blur. It’s not that everything sounds the same, rather, very little truly sticks out. It’s not an unpleasant listen, but it’s not one I feel any need to return to either. Though the closing track, “Lichen” was pretty solid and a good way to close the album.
If you fancy some passable death metal with a bit of groove edge to it, “Chained” will probably scratch that particular itch for a while, but Khiral need to bring some more memorable tracks to the table if they want people coming back for more.