Review: Chaos Plague – Existence Through Annihilation

Posted: May 13, 2015 in Reviews
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Chaos Plague come recommended to me by my good friend Teo from Chiral, and are a progressive technical death metal band from Italy. This five piece have just unfurled their debut release for Revalve Records, ‘Existence Through Annihilation’ and its one hour of some serious riffs.

After the obligatory orchestral intro (damn these Italians and their taste for the finer things), ‘Coil’ lurches from the starting blocks with some serious bass lines and technical wizardry. The main reference points here are clearly 90s death metal, particularly Pestilence and Atheist. It’s very progressive, lacking anything of what you would refer to as a groove, but you are left dizzied by the quality of playing.

Chaos Plague throw every progressive death metal trick into the mix here, and it’d make Chuck Schuldinger proud that bands are carrying on the legacy he perfected in Death and particularly Control Denied. ‘Collision of Entities’ is one of the more mind boggling tracks you’ll hear all year, yet is brought back to a semblance of this reality with a wonderfully fluid solo.

Mixing clean and harsh vocals also adds to the flavour of Chaos Plague. This isn’t your tone deaf clean singing that infects a lot of modern metal. This is dashes of clarity to enhance moments like the almost robotic ‘Transcendental Liberation’. But it is the pure musicianship here that excites me. Progressive death metal has rarely sounded as brave and experimental in the past few years, in fact probably since Atheist released ‘Jupiter’ in 2010. My only criticism is that some of the songs seem a bit overly long. You almost feel that there’s a bit of streamlining that could have been done, but of course, that may affect the sprawling majesty of the whole release.

‘Existence Through Annihilation’ exists as the voice of the cosmos. Some bands play music that sounds like the screams of dying stars or howls from the cold, dark void. Chaos Plague play the music of nebulas forming, or the eerie spin of planets. Otherworldly, enthralling and comfortably the most impressive record, musically, I’ve heard all year.

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