Chaos Echoes - Mouvement

The Quietus

Mouvement, this second full-length by French avant-garde death metal trio Chaos Echoes, opens in medias res and with ferocity. An infinitely angry scream envelopes a bombastic barrage of tortured riffs, aberrant drumming, and pulsing bass on opener ‘Embodied by Perfidious Curls in the Innervated Flux’. The song is haunted by harsh noises which dance spasmodically around a complex hypnotic rhythmic foundation and suggest a change in style for the group. Chaos Echoes’ previous LP Transient felt meandering, with frequent atmospheric interjections and a distant haunted sound; Mouvement is compact and bulbous, condensed into shorter and more focused songs that impart an urgency characteristic of Krallice. Enough space is left for the band to descend into spirals of droning and repetitive doom meditations à la Aluk Todolo. Their explorations are relentlessly free, profound and captivating.

The conceptually connected cuts on the album – dealing with “the effect of the external on the self” – cohere and clash constantly. They conjure a surrealistic simulacrum of our world and turn its anguishes into flesh, simultaneously hypnagogic and palpably real. ‘As an Embraceable Magma Leading The Subliminal’ is calmer and comes as a counterpoint to the chaos that preceded it, but it offers no respite. Instead a slow gallop is propelled by careening basslines and alien syncopated drumming which anchor an abyss of dissonant guitars, glitches and distortion. It’s a rumbling, cyclical composition that features a rare appearance of vocals on the record - vocals reduced to spectres and shadows.

On ‘Surrounded and Amazed by These Unplumbed Abysses of the Inverted Sea’ and its companion piece ‘Through Kaleidoscopic Haze of Unexpected Extents’, Chaos Echoes move from contorted doom metal to a psychedelic trance complete with perverted accordion howls. Here they embrace their cacophonous side once more, bringing tremolos and start-stop rhythms to the front before dissolving into deafening ambient textures. Shifting things around again, the trio make the longest track on the record compellingly malignant. ‘Shine On, Obsidian! Ego! Ego! Echo Back to the Yearning of the Self!’ begins as a traditionally propulsive blackened death romp then loses its mind somewhere along the way and mutates into an aggressive drone loop.

On the closing ‘Alas! Here Is the Feebles’ Assent, Exalted by Your Mouth Full of Flies’, the band replace their heavy riffs and death metal ingredients with dark ambient music tropes, shaping their most atmospheric tune. A lone threatening riff, sparse indistinct noises somewhere in the darkness, and a mixture of pagan chanting and growls reveal the a ritualistic nature and demonstrate just how elegantly Chaos Echoes shed and replace genres.

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Tue Feb 20 17:42:30 GMT 2018