Of Beatings And The Silence In Between
posted on 10/2008 By:
It’s a great thing indeed to come across a band you’ve never heard of and walking away mightily impressed. That’s exactly how I feel about Chthonian and their debut full-length Of Beatings And The Silence In Between. Essentially a death metal outfit, the band’s flirtation with both black metal and thrash ends up sounding fairly distinctive. Finntroll frontman Matthias ‘Vreth’ Lillmans provides the vocals, and his hoarse barking adds further character to Chthonian’s already polished sound. Of Beatings… is a concise and furious little platter with hooks and melodies spread liberally amongst an otherwise scathing death metal onslaught.
This album has a good number of standout moments across its eight tracks. Early numbers “Ill” and “Thirteen” introduce Chthonian’s penchant for intense speed, as well as some curiously dissonant riffing that reminds me a little of Decapitated’s Organic Hallucinosis. “Sanguine Sadism” is easily an album highlight, featuring an intense, Carcass-like groove that is as catchy as it is heavy. Similarly infectious, mid-tempo runs crop up over the course of the album, preventing the blast sections from becoming monotonous. The other track worth mentioning is the excellent “Weep Human, Weep”, with its twisted, eerie melodies adding another dimension to Chthonian’s sound.
There’s little in the way of downsides here, as Of Beatings And The Silence In Between is a pretty tight and consistent affair that doesn’t outstay its welcome. After numerous listens I do find the second half of the album slightly less memorable than the first, as repetition in the riffs and song structures becomes more noticeable. However, I still view Of Beatings… as a strong death metal release by a clearly well-drilled unit. Chthonian have enough personality and distinctiveness to make an impact and on the basis of this effort their future is surely a bright one.
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