Chained and Desperate: Divine Authority Abolishment

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Chained and Desperate: Divine Authority Abolishment
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Chained and Desperate: Divine Authority Abolishment
Black Metal, Doom Metal
Pitch Black Records
August 2nd, 2011
Release length: 38:21
Website
Chained and Desperate formed back in 1990, but it isn’t until only recent that people outside their home country of Greece may have heard of this band. The group issued a total of six demos throughout their career before finally releasing their debut demo roughly ten years after forming. Eleven Angles in a Circle was issued on a smaller record label in their home land, and obviously had not made a lot of waves throughout the Metal world. Since then, the band has kept silent, and for 2011, the group issues their second full-length recording, Divine Authority Abolishment through Pitch Black Records. Does this Black/Doom Metal band’s exploits signify that they are not worth your time, or does all of this move towards a strong development within the band?

Much of Divine Authority Abolishment does move at a slower pace, though not always at one similar to a generic Doom Metal crawl, having a stronger Black Metal focus to the music. This is fine, but one slight issue comes from the production. Divine Authority Abolishment has a remarkably clean audio quality to it. The guitars have a decent Black Metal distortion to them, and the bass is present with a good volume level, and the kit sounds great aside the bass kicks which don’t really pack much power to them and just kind of have that ticking sound to them that suits the overall pitch of the album, and all the levels are right. While the instruments work well, the overall sound just feels as though it’s lacking a bit of an edge, and sometimes the instruments seem to go to silent too quick, which leads to some dead space between chords on some songs, such as the slower “Rely on Fears”. Of course the manner in which the song is played gives the track a bit of an “epic” feeling, and the guitar solo to it is pretty good, but at the same time it’s slower pace does manage to show off some of the faults of this rather digital sound.

On top of that, the music seems to have lost much of it’s heaviness or bite. While the sense of a Black Metal performance is there and can be felt with a slight cold atmosphere to it, it doesn’t necessarily feel heavy in any sense. This isn’t to say it’s bad, Divine Authority Abolishment has plenty of great tracks, and they would be a lot better if there was perhaps a deeper pitch or less sterilized audio sound. “Chained” makes for the perfect example considering it’s stronger bass presence on the track and how much richer the song feels with it during some of the faster moments of the song. This is also one of the songs on the release to feature clean singing instead of the traditional rhaspier Black Metal approach, though not the first, and sounds alright even though it’s not really as strong or enthusiastic as it should be, especially compared to the harsher vocals that adorn the album. for the music which appears to be geared more towards creating an epic atmosphere.

Despite it’s issues, the band does a good job at establishing what is ahead with “Nine Deaths in August”, and still manages to weave some enjoyable tracks throughout the release. “Nine Deaths in August” manages to establish what little atmosphere the songs will have, as well as lets you know how clean the whole release is going to sound. Luckily some of the tracks that follow the first song manage to work with the quality of the audio here, such as “Bridge from Theism” and “Chained”, the latter of which having a bit more of a melancholic and colder atmosphere to it. Once you ready “Ariadne’s Thread” though, the story changes, as the songs that follow either have moments that doesn’t transition well into a cleaner sound, or it’s the entire track. THe title track of the album, “Divine Authority Abolishment”, is a very intriguing song due to it’s stronger atmosphere stemming more from the band’s geographical roots, and how it manages to still create a rich and full sound that no other track can really compare to it, which includes less open gaps between chords and bridges, as well as some background singing vocals that feel more like a chantin approach coupled with the stronger Black Metal screams.

Divine Authority Abolishment is a good release for what it is, and the band’s combination of Black Metal and Doom Metal makes for some solid tracks. Of course, it’s on real fault being the cleaner production values. While the album isn’t completely sterilized, much of the edge and heavier kick to the release just isn’t there, only really showing up during some of the richer or faster parts of songs, and considering the slower pace of the recording it’s not really that often. Overall it’s still an album with some great replay value, and the songs really do sound promising. Sure, having an overly raw analog sound and making this a “kvlt” album would be wrong, but a little extra distortion on the instruments and even some extra enthusiasm into the clean singing. All of this leads to Chained and Desperate‘s follow-up to be one worth checking out, but falls more the idea of a casual listen then with a devoted, hardcore enthusiasm, which will ultimately lead to later spins due to the well executed music that doesn’t feel too burdening or intense.

01. Nine Deaths in August – 3:37
02. Rely on Fears – 3:48
03. Bridge from Theism – 4:01
04. Chained – 4:30
05. Ariadne’s Thread – 3:59
06. Irrational – 3:51
07. Divine Authority Abolishment – 4:41
08. Iconographies – 4:25
09. Curtains of Cold – 5:31
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Chained and Desperate (Band)
Chained and Desperate (Logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by Pitch Black Records.