Black metal is hard to make. Sure as a concept it’s pretty easy, but if you want to make something worthwhile, something with real meaning It’s not going to be an easy task. The formula for black metal, atmospheric in this particular case, is pretty straight forward: cavernous echoes and reverb, tremolo picking, reed thin production, and sparse, raspy vocals. It’s a formula that’s easy to follow and yet so many bands seem to miss the point of making the music in the first place. Making atmospheric black metal might be simple on paper but the thought, talent, and vision required to make a memorable, playable album is certainly a rarity. Chiral, the main project of the man behind ||| and Il Vuoto, is releasing a new album this month, “Gazing Light Eternity,” and I was given the privilege of getting a first listen.
Where ||| is ambient and nature based, Chiral is atmospheric and emotionally based. Wolves in the Throne Room is a clear influence here, not just in the sound itself but also in the epic length of the songs, and while Chiral doesn’t hide his influences, he doesn’t lean on them too heavily either. The guitar work is original and thoughtful, the melodies drift and meander through the songs, but never quite get played the same way each time. It’s a bit like Heraclites and his theory that nothing remains the same, the only constant is change. Even listening to the song over again the riffs and melodies sounded slightly different. It’s a subtle thing that makes the music more interesting when you notice it. The sound quality is primal but clean and fresh. The album has atmosphere for days but it’s not the focal point of the music (as it is with space metal and cosmic black metal) so it’s not distracting. The vocals are solid as well, melding efficiently with the music. The vocals are very much enhanced by the atmosphere, one could almost so they are dependent on the atmosphere. The drums and bass are there and for their part they contribute to the album but I think they’re a little overshadowed by the guitars.
Gazing Light Eternity officially comes out October 27th and I highly recommend dropping by Chiral’s Bandcamp page to grab it. I think this album will be another notch in Chiral’s belt when it comes to quality, well defined released.