Saturday, March 3, 2012

Charon-Sulphur Seraph

After seeing the black/thrash tag on Charon in the archives, I had a vivid picture in my mind that easily described the music I would get from this. But to my suprise, Charon's album ''Sulphur Seraph'' was something quite unexpected to me. Instead of hearing hard-hitting riffs with nasty vocals repeatedly, I heard a monstrous black metal influence which was, if I may be so bold, even more prevalent than the thrash influence. Coming from Germany and being formed in 1997, you'd expect Charon to have a large discography, but to the opposition, this is Charon's debut album. Therefore, I welcomed this supreme and occult so-called black/thrash hybrid eagerly.

Firstly, let me get this straight, if you don't like black metal in general, then this album is not really for you. The tremendous black metal influence has immersed the thrash influence in this album, creating something that's highly different then the typical black/thrash bands of our time. I like my black metal as a side dish. It goes almost perfectly with any genre that I enjoy therefore I can it as long as there is the non-black metal genre stays supreme. Charon, however totally changed my ideology. This album, as I mentioned before is unlike other black/thrash albums because the black metal side of the music is more dominant. And I think this is what made Charon so attractive. The supremacy of the black metal side over the thrash and small amount of black. While other bands lay their 25% percent of black metal on top of their 75% plain, ferocious thrash approach, Charon is 40-45% thrash and 55-60% black metal all the way. The music is so dense that it swallows the listener whole in an orgy of mass comfusion thus hypnotizing with brutality. While many may not be able to handle this overwhelming density, but to those who can comprehend this utter complexity, it is a treasure full of treasure.

The first two tracks are absolutely indulging, black-tinged tracks that set a good start line for the album. The riffs finally start to change their direction towards the third track, where an assault of Brazillian brutality and German hunger takes over and sends the listener into a neck-breaking quest, instead of mesmorizing black metal waves. Inside of this complexity there is actually a good amount of technicalty in the dense mixture to add a nice feeling to the riffs. As much as the songs have an epic and chaotic feel, you cannot deny that the album has its moments of brutality aswel. There are razor sharp tremolo barrages that are constantly accompanied by raging blast beats and d-beats during most of the riffs. The devastating power of ''Sulphur Seraph'' is tremendously powerful, and can crush anything in its path. The raw recording is another thing that keeps the album going, epecially in the songs which worship black metal the most.

The vocals have a wide range of variety. From sinister shreiks to outrageos growls to demonic whispers and mormours, the abundance of vocal delivery suits the album very good even though it doesen't have a very controlled direction. Sometimes they are very muffled and blurry thus burried beneath the intense music, but when the riffs start getting more straightforward, the vocals become easier to hear. Charon, I think also wanted create an atmosphere by using synthesizers and creepy whispers. I can't quite put my finger on it, but all I know is that these little ambients give a great taste to the album and echance the aura. There are only six tracks since the intro and outro tracks are basically medleys of there so-called ambients. But don't worry, these six songs will give you much more then you want.

It has only been two months since the year has started, yet so many bands are releasing albums that could be called mini masterpieces. Charon, with their debut album, created something slightly different than all the other typical bands of its sub-genre. Fusibg intesity with speed, chaos, epicness and hard-hitting riffs devastating the fields as they rage throughout. Immense technicalty and brilliant musicianship is displayed in a way that isn't quite popular, but will become popular. If you like black metal with a blend of ferocious and technical thrash madness, then get this now.

Solution... Averse... Tenebrous... Answer: Nothingness
Thy Weapon
Flagellum Horribils

Rating: 94%

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