CHRONICLES – Chaos Cosmogony (2022)REVIEW

With our gel-spraying cortices severed from the collective drapery of, eh, actual production values the nostalgic demo-dazed death metal underground best represents itself as an excitingly physical, reality-based medium. We can go on calling every self-recorded demo tape that emerges ‘primitive’ for the sake of naïve referential forms or intentionally underproduced (and often underperforming) acts but it’d be a bit of an insult to the callous timbre of Bangladeshi death metal coffin-punchers Chronicles to suggest their actions are primitivist or anything less than vivid and tangible death metal action. This third official release and second demo tape from the band, ‘Chaos Cosmogony‘, makes a strong case for raw rhythmic practicum and the lasting appeal of garage-bound death metal fealty. Without the usual obsession with stylized sound and derivative trendiness it is the occultist death quintet’s horrifying performance and furiously voiced abandon that nails this relatively short burst of song into skull and mind.

Though they’ve not recreated the timely counter-cultural relevance of late 80’s/early 90’s death metal Chronicles have done a fine job of presenting the bombastic marrow-chewing horror of the ’89-’92 glut of musicians seeking out all available forms without aiming for contrived or commercial patternation. Formed in 2015 and recording ready by 2018 these young Dhakaiya presented as a groovier, far more brutally-slapped modern death metal act on their ‘WarMachine‘ EP in 2019, already featuring some exploration of South Asian rhythms and sounds before their Zoroastrianism themed ‘Astōdān‘ demo took things a few steps further by way of a raw and increasingly fundamentalist approach to death metal rhythms and accoutrement, such as whammy-flailing leads and a strong Hellhammer cover. Once this tape had made its rounds it was clear Chronicles had potential but there’d been no telling where they’d go with it. By my own observation they’ve realigned to emphasize their dark arcane spiritual theme with appropriately swords-to-plowshares approach to brutal, riff-obssessed death metal with a meandering melodic aspect buried deep beneath the terror front.

There is some familiarity in approaching ‘Chaos Cosmogony’ as it has just a hint of the urgency you’ll find on the earlier tapes from Brutality and Vital Remains, something taking what Amon‘s seriously practiced mentalism had done to a new, flashier extreme without outdoing said primal form. This is only momentarily invoked as they burst through the back-and-forth tumult of opener “Primordial Atrocities” and we don’t find the actual death-thrashing maniac spears of Chronicles begin to strike flesh ’til “Wit Bedlam” has a chance to land its three minute killing blow. This sort of guitar work is a combination of dizzying speed-riffing and the illusion of speed presented by a live in studio (or rehearsal space) recording which allows the drum kit to act as propulsion for their efforts. The performances don’t have to be perfect only bear the right sort of maniac conviction the songs themselves present and in this sense ‘Chaos Cosmogony‘ quickly convinced me their attack was dead serious — Being what it -is- in rawest form rather than trying to be something particular for an audience.

The basement show-level frag heavy shot-gunned rhythms and linear riffing presented here is inarguably the major spectacle as Chronicles now present their South Asian melodic ideals within a more familiar format, less wandering and just a few short breaks into de-escalating mid-paced rhythms. The non-atmosphere of the recording is admittedly confrontational and suffocating but, arguably in the same way an actual show is when standing at about a driveway’s length. Point made, anyhow, the presence and conviction of this demo has clearly left a welcome impression upon me and I’ve found this demo a passionate and forceful display of death metal without pretense or overworked forms. A high recommendation.

Moderately high recommendation. (75/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Chaos Cosmogony [Demo]
LABEL(S):Helldprod Records
RELEASE DATE:January 20th, 2022

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