09 Jun 2021 - Thorsten
Art As Catharsis | Release date: 24 Jun 2021
Underneath Chassm’s thick, dirty crust of sludge and post-metal one can find a highly dynamic band with lots of virtuously embedded rhythm changes.
When listening to Post-Metal, one often witnesses layers over layers of good chunky riffing with each new guitar line trying to outperform the former one according to heaviness and ‘harsh-ness’. Not to be misunderstood – there are bands that are awesome when it comes to that way of structuring their songs with a good ear for the almighty loud vs. quiet dynamics. Everyone loves bands like ISIS or Cult Of Luna or Russian Circles. But sometimes one finds a band that in some way re-defines post-metal because they infuse it with something new. Bands like Postvorta or Intronaut who both simply add something else in one sense – Intronaut bringing the technicality and “jazzy-ness” along while Postvorta are masters at structures doomy longtracks.
But how could a newcomer change post-metal? Well, there are some possibilities to lift it beyond the now well-known standards: Noise as rowdy as you can imagine. Dynamics that do not change from loud to quiet but that change rather according to speed and tempi. A rhythm section is usually ahead of the guitar – in the mix and in the leading of the track. The songs have a certain groove without being groove-metal. They feature the same flirry guitar-lines that some of the more noisy math-core bands had going for them. They incorporate good blackened vocals without being simple follow-ups to any form of Black-Metal.
Chassm from Brisbane, Australia, use all of these ideas on their debut album Falling Forever which will be released by specialist-label Art As Catharsis and thus show how a newcomer can in some ways “re-define” or “refine” the genre. One cannot but be in awe when listening to the amazing talent of Chassm’s rhythm section: tracks like the first single ”Absentia terra” or ”Pariah” are very classy examples of how the band changes rhythm and speed. The band can erupt within seconds adding blastbeats to a song that features some multitudinous tumbling of the drums over each other with clever, jazzy shifts and short, post-punkish stop-and-go moments that give the songs a little extra groovey-ness.
But all that praise shall not take anything away from the guitar-work, there are many challenging moments on Falling Forever because the record seems pretty clear at first listen, but when you give it more spins you notice how much work has been put into the sound character of the record. The sound is distorted and crisp but never over-steered, there are small moments of pure fuzz-magic (when the segments seem to have gained from their touring with stoner-sludge bands Bongzilla and Crowbar). Then again there are some noise elements which have that resemblance to modern Black-Metal bands like Rorcal.
Chassm is a good example of how a smaller band can contribute to a genre and Falling Forever is a really good debut. Sometimes the songs would benefit from a bit more patience but then again, this is wild youth! Australia your scene is just magical!