Originally written by Ramar Pittance
Artists often fail when attempting to live up the grandeur of their vision. Often, this failure is not due to a lack of effort, or even talent. It usually results from a lack of know-how. How to take something that lives in their minds and use their medium to present that vision to the world. Maybe they just don’t understand their medium; maybe they just don’t understand their vision. Either way, these lapses are often noticeable, and usually make for some truly wretched works of art. However, in the rare case when an artist is able to negotiate a barrier between their vision and their audience, the results are always special. With The Spell of Retribution, The Chasm present an ever so rare actualization of artistic aspiration. Lucky us.
Playing a breed of mammoth death metal that is impressive in both scope and delivery, The Chasm have staked their claim to the throne of the Metal of Death. With familiar allusions to Slayer, Sepultura, and other forefathers of the vitriolic thrash movement, the band outflanks their masters with a dwarfing compositional prowess. While slightly more melodic than previous releases, the brooding dissonance and choppy riffing remain a staple of the band’s sound. The album begins with a Ktulu-esque instrumental, and avoids all the pratfalls of the typical metal intro. “From the Curse, a Scourge” builds as a finger tapped solo is played over held power chords before giving way to a dark recurring melody. This song is complete and fulfilling, and sets the stage for the rest of the album by presenting many of the ideas that will be explored on The Spell of Retribution. The band continues without a misstep through the remainder of the album, injecting each song with a sense of purpose along the way. Each track is alive and transitions fluidly from one part to the next. Guitarist/vocalist Daniel Corchado’s meticulous songwriting ability, which was apparent on previous releases, has been refined to a sharp point on The Spell of Retribution, and as a result he is pretty much able to take the listener wherever he pleases. Where other bands fail to pull off these sort engaging compositions though an embarrassing hodgepodge of styles and ideas, The Chasm succeed with ease. Whether they are rendering the entire Slayer discography obsolete (almost) on “Manifest My Intervention,” or rewarding the listener with a brief taste of bright melodic riff work of “Eternal Cycle of Disillusion,” the sense that the band is in control remains throughout.
The Chasm have arrived with The Spell of Retribution. To some, this band and the compositional mastery of their leader Daniel Corchado is old news. However, with the backing of a respectable label and a suitable production this band has released an album that establishes them as one of the single most important bands in metal today. It is time for metal fans of every breed and ilk to embrace The Chasm.