Chaos Moon – Eschaton Mémoire (Blood Music)Sunday, 5th November 2017
Finland’s Blood Music releases music with such infrequency that they need to have a high rate of success. While this approach runs counter to that of many of metal’s larger labels, it does assure you’re at least going to be greeted with something of quality, like United States black metal combo Chaos Moon. The product of multi-instrumentalist Alex Poole, vocalist Eric Baker and the brothers Blackburn (Steven and Jack on guitars and drums, respectively), Chaos Moon bears little, if any resemblance to the BM sounds coming from their home country. That could explain why their fourth full-length, Eschaton Mémoire, is such a resounding listen.
The first thought that comes to mind is that these gents are Scandinavian, which is largely attributed to Poole’s other-worldly riffscapes. He’s clearly not interested in plopping down in the woods with his Cascadian brethren across the other side of the country. He’s obviously done his Nordic black metal homework with French BM as extra credit, as evidenced by the spatial, oftentimes illuminating ideas he pours across the two-part “The Pillar, the Fall, and the Key” and on “Of Wrath and Forbidden Wisdom,” a number that features an absolutely gorgeous clean mid-section that is a sure-fire album highlight.
What is perhaps most satisfying about Eschaton Mémoire is that you’re almost sure it’s eventually going to go out of bounds and try to transcend weirdness. Instead, it maintains a thread of identity and character that is easy to latch onto. By no means is this comfortable and/or commercial black metal, but it’s transcendental black metal that is memorable.