Jul 112023

In the case of many of our premieres we have a great volume of information available for sharing — abundant details about a band’s origins, histories, and inspirations; conceptual and lyrical insights; commentary about the songs from the people who made it; and more. In other instances we have very little to share other than the music, perhaps because of the musicians’ adherence to the idea that only the music matters, or an embrace of the perceived purity of obscurity, or maybe just simple shyness.

Whatever the reason, today is one of those days when the music must mainly speak for itself. We know that Chaos Altar is a one-person black metal project from France, that person going by the name Executor, and that nine years ago the project released its debut EP, And Then You Die — and nothing since then (that we know of). We also have this one short but evocative statement about a new Chaos Altar record entitled Where the Ashes Now Reign, which will be released on July 28th by Void Wanderer Productions:

Let yourself be invaded by the atmosphere of death, destruction, and nothingness.
Welcome to our chaos!

Beyond that we don’t have much more info, but of course we do have the music… a song from the new record named “Furnace” that we’re presenting today. And it’s a hell of a good song.

The music itself speaks volumes, even in just this one song, because it leads us on such a multi-faceted musical excursion, creating moments of peril and gloom, of melancholy and desperation, and of devilish exhilaration.

At first, sounds of cold wind, subterranean undulations, and destructive cracking tones create an ominous atmosphere — a feeling of fear, of some impending danger. That feeling builds through swathes of searing chords, thrusting jolts, clobbering drums, and scalding vocal hostility.

As a result of slashing and jittering riffage, the music continues to transform, beginning to sound both more evil and more imperious. When the riffing vibrates and seethes, it also channels a feeling of dismay and despair, which persists even as the music soars. But the music’s dynamic changes continue further, thanks to glorious heavy metal riffing and an even more glorious solo which together lift the song into “epic” territory.

Yet the darkness in the music won’t be quelled. It comes through in a brilliantly trilling guitar that sounds bereft as well as sparkling, dramatically seizing attention over blasting drums and a booming bass.

The final change comes near the end, as pinging and wailing tones carry the mind into realms of beguiling mystery….

We do have a few more details: The lyrics were written by Asphodel. The new record was mixed and mastered by Fabien Longeot, who also performed guitar solos on tracks 1, 3, and a bonus track.

It will be released by Void Wanderer on transparent pro-tape with stickers on the body. housed in a transparent case with a J-card. And they recommend it for fans of Dissection, Nightbringer, and Absu.



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