Friday, June 11, 2010

Chelmno - Horizon of Events (2010)

If you're keen on the Italian black metal scene, then you are likely familiar with the drummer Vidharr who also performs in the great Tenebrae in Perpetuum (whose latest album is phenomenal) and the more suicidally bleak Beatrik, in addition to some other acts. Chelmno is another if his many quality efforts, though this band performs across a more cosmic, raw night sky vision of malevolent starfalls and infinite chaos, firmly rooted in the traditions of Emperor, Darkthrone, Mayhem and Bathory, with a firm grasp of glorious, bloodied melodic streaming that uses both variation and monotony as a forte.

Few albums have I heard that can span both the sewer and the stars, but Horizon of Events is a fine example of this. The rather repressed, primal quality of the production does so little to inhibit its broad grasp, each sequence of notes another foray into an interstellar cloud of debris, the sneering and lascivious jeering of Ferghus (once of Imposer and also another Vidharr project, Near) a blade of blood and rust that traverses the void. The album can feel like a one trick pony at times, due to the excess of its trebling dementia, but the band will often counteract the faster material like "Four Fucking Wolves" and "Dance of the Shadows" with a slower piece "Into the Fog" that recounts Darkthrone and late 80s Bathory. However, most of the material is blasted at high velocities, so the imagination must be used here to more deeply examine the deceptively repetitious, malicious sense of melody this band eschews.

If you're a despotic, Satanic satellite wishing to howl down the stars in hellish Earthen fires, then this album provides you a reliable, vacuum-free vehicle in which to do so. Chelmno is ripe with atmosphere and sinister intentions, and the use of the streaming, monotonous melodies is a little more unusual than found on most other necro black metal recordings, but otherwise this is not highly unique. Like most of the band's Vidharr involves himself with, there is a requisite of mental endurance involved with truly picking apart the compositions' simplicity to scratch at the stained soul of the record, so hang on for a few listens if you want to experience the unraveling of mysteries from beyond the terrestrial sphere.

Verdict: Win [7.25/10]

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