Chaos Invocation

Album Title: 
Reaping Season, Bloodshed Beyond
Release Date: 
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Review Type: 

Despite their many years of existence, German band Chaos Invocation always took their time before releasing newly recorded stuff. The band was officially formed in 2004, and they released their first album in 2009 (In Bloodline With The Snake, Canonical Hours / World Terror Committee). Black Mirror Hours, the second full length album, saw the unlight in 2013 (once again via the committee for earthly war, destruction and extermination), followed once again by a lengthy period of ear-splitting silence. Enter 2017. First there was a split 7”EP with Greek horde Thy Darkened Shade and soon after a limited compilation with old and new material (amongst which songs from their upcoming album, which this review will deal with). And then, a new full album, at last…

Reaping Season, Bloodshed Beyond, the band’s third full length studio album, was created by original members A. and M., assisted by several session and guest musicians. Eleven hymns, having a total running time of fifty-two minutes, made it to the CD-edition, which was released, once again, via W.T.C. Productions aka the World Terror Committee. The result was mastered at the famous Temple Of Disharmony with Patrick M. Engel think: Nemesis Sopor, Sunshine And Lollipops, Chaos Echoes, Wigrid, Hellish Crossfire and many, many more).

After an ominous introduction, recorded on an improvised altar on some graveyard, I think, this horde offers us a mostly vile and violent form of brutal Black / Death / War Metal. Hail Apocalypse! There is a certain occult character that paints the oppressive and suffocating atmosphere. For a part it has to do with the great sound quality too. This one has that Post-Black vibe, that raw and orthodox character in combination with a modern production. The play is quite complex, and it’s such great experience to notice the organic ease of combining a certain progressive execution with a basement of tradition at the one hand, and those huge melodic structures. And melodic it is indeed. The main structures are based on melodious guitar riffs and leads, once in a while with overpowering tremolo twin guitar riffs or hypnotic, then again piercing solos. All this gets supported by a monumental rhythm section, with especially those energetic drum salvos that impress. Though, rhythm guitars and bass lines too are heavily supportive, without whom the global experience would not succeed. And then I did not even mention the deep-growling screams yet…

Chaos Invocation bring more than just ‘songs’, for they do use quite some atypical elements too. MenSkinDrums Of Doom, for example, is one of those compositions that has a lot more to offer than any average Death / Black formation. It’s about these unique drum patterns, the fine equilibrium in between blasting outbursts and some doomier fragments, or that balance in between epic melodies and devastating rhythms. Actually, all tracks have several characteristic elements, distinctive from the grey masses. It’s created with depth and performed with craftsmanship, and therefor recommendable. Also semi-acoustic interludes, different vocal additions (spoken words, grunts, choirs and so on) and permanently interacting changes in structure and tempo do typify this self-conscious project.

Imagine a self-conscious yet rebellious mixture of, let’s say, Glorior Belli, Taake, Wolves In The Throne Room, Funeral Mist and Deathspell Omega, injected with accents of Bleeding Fist, Watain, Fides Inversa, and even Rotting Christ or Blut Aus Nord, if you want to, and you’ll still have no direction to go…