Released: 2004, Earache/Wicked World
The Chasm, Daniel Corchado in particular, could be the poster boys for persistence and work ethic. Slugging it out for almost 13 years for any band is a medal of honour (let alone spending this time recording a handful of instant classics) but to have made it this long with little recognition outside of the underground is a testament to the heavy metal spirit. Most bands would have given up and moved on by now. The Chasm have pushed forward and garnered themselves a world wide album deal for their new release which is a great stroke of luck for the band as Daniel has stated in a few interviews that he almost gave up “commercially” releasing albums in at least a few moments in his career. Now the band’s perseverance has seemingly paid off with their first release for Wicked World/Earache Records.
With THE SPELL OF RETRIBUTION The Chasm have persevered to make one of their best albums. It seems as though with this release they have moved forward but maybe not progressed their sound as much as they have in the past. Initially this had left some fans who had downloaded the album prematurely crying rehash, saying the band was treading familiar territory but many seem to have warmed up to the album. For those unchristened in the realms of The Chasm they will find moody and adventurous old school death metal with an almost black metal sense of melody with rough vocals that properly portray the feel of the music.
Starting off with the instrumental “From the Curse, a Scourge” the music builds up slowly with lead guitar, drums, and single strums of the bass fading in only to hit it’s explosion shortly afterwards, moving into a nice marching riff (the sound of The Chasm’s Death Cult rising from the underground?). Soon after, the album blasts forward (No, not literal blast beats), with “The Omnipotent Codex”. The song moves forward in an almost death/thrash vein, unleashing a few interesting melodies over top of the caustic riffs before going backtracking to a riff that is reminiscent to the one found in the opening instrumental. “The Conqueror and the Warlord” has this almost insane ability to switch riffs at high speeds yet feel whole before almost totally switching moods, and never looking back, at 2:30. With epic, mid-paced riffs, the song moves into what might be my favorite section on the whole CD at 4:45 with melodic guitar picking and an amazing solo.
The album highlight doesn’t really come for me until track 6, “Retribution of the Lost Years (I, The Pastfinder III)”. This song is so open and inspiring. The melodies and even the heavier riffs bring a really adventurous and brooding sound. Interestingly enough later in the album some more traditional metal sounds come through on the album, most specifically that almost Iron Maiden-esque moment 4:46 into “Remains of the Covenant”. I’ve always found it interesting how in these settings such a traditional, basic, and even overused idea can have new life and even seem different.
The Chasm have pushed the bar higher on THE SPELL OF RETRIBUTION, leaving most of their peers in the dust. Hopefully this is the beginning of better times for the band and the end of the problems they saw in the past, they certainly deserve it.