Chiral – Night Sky (Review)

ChiralChiral is an Italian one-man band. This is his second album.

I have enjoyed watching Chiral’s development over the course of his releases that he’s put out so far. From the primitive Proto-Death/Black Metal of Winter Eternal, to the frozen Blackened landscape of Abisso, to the more ambitious Atmospheric Black Metal of his splits with Haate and Nebel Über Den Urnenfeldern/Eternal Sleep…the brain behind Chiral as consistently impressed with both the quality of his music and his progression within it.

So what of this latest release then? Showing that he doesn’t sit still, Night Sky continues the previously developed themes of Atmospheric Black Metal, only this time adding a Post-Black Metal element to the music, resulting in an album that favours mood and texture over all else.

For a surface comparison to to other bands, I’d say Night Sky combines elements of Wolves in the Throne Room, Falls of Rauros, Falloch, Vinterriket, and Opeth.

The songs are long and ambitious tracks that show a love of both Black Metal and a more naturalistic sound that is quite atavistic in its realisation. Folk melodies and influences would be an appropriate description, although it feels somehow older than this.

Acoustic passages, Folk instrumentation and Progressive Metal tendencies work together with the icy, Blackened core to create Atmospheric Post-Black Metal that takes in many influences over the 58 minutes of material and ably demonstrates the talent and skill of Chiral.

These songs are slow-builders; ramping up the atmosphere and emotional content over the span of the playing time and layering just enough keyboards and extra instrumentation on top to really provide a consistent sense of space, flavour and feeling.

So there you have it. Another quality Chiral release, his best work yet I’d say.

Fans of Atmospheric Black Metal take note.

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Nebel Über Den Urnenfeldern/Eternal Sleep/Chiral – Sed Auiss – Split (Review)

Sed AuiisHere we have a split between three different one-man Black Metal projects. All bands have contributed two songs each to this release.

Nebel Über Den Urnenfeldern, from Germany, is the first to perform and offers up 15 minutes of music, longer than both other bands.

These songs have a good sound and provide emotive Black Metal with strong vocals and good riffs.

There are quite a few nice aspects to Nebel Über Den Urnenfeldern’s sound. Crisp, raw guitars, Post-Black Metal interludes, near-static screaming vocals; it all adds up to a very enjoyable 15 minutes.

The music takes the listener on a journey and covers various moods across the running time. As well as being Blackly aggressive the mood is also a reflective one.

This is my first encounter with Nebel Über Den Urnenfeldern and I have to say I’m very impressed.

Next we have Eternal Spell; hailing from Chile and contributing 8 minutes to this split.

In contrast to Nebel Über Den Urnenfeldern, Eternal Spell’s take on Black Metal is a more primitive and straight-for-the-jugular affair.

This Black Metal takes the raw template and infuses it with elements of Speed Metal and Punk to produce two tracks that kick you right where it hurts.

It’s resolutely Old-School and unreservedly underground. It’s honest, enjoyable and not lacking in charm.

Finally we have Chiral, from Italy, who we have met before, here, here and here. It’s always a pleasure to hear new work from this talented individual so a further 12 minutes of music is most welcome.

As usual it’s high quality, high calibre Black Metal that continues the development that the artist has shown so far of actually improving with every release.

This is sharp Atmospheric Black Metal that contains a decent amount of melody without blunting the strength of the attack.

The melodies, grooves and speed captivates from first listen and the well-performed vocals are authentically fierce. Both the screams and growls sound great and they help bring everything else together.

Whether playing faster or slower the songs are well-written and capture the dark essence of Black Metal straight from the off.

Another win for Chiral.

Overall this is a worthwhile split to get your hands on especially for Nebel Über Den Urnenfeldern and Chiral’s contributions, which are my favourites.

Haate/Chiral – Where Mountains Pierce The Nightsky – Split

Chiral HaateThis is a split between Haate, who are from Italy and play Dark Ambient, and Chiral, also from Italy and playing Black Metal. Both are solo projects.

Haate’s contribution is made up of 3 tracks, 2 of which we’ve heard before on As The Moon Painted Her Grief. The remaining track, (the first one on this split), is new, or new to me at least.

Everything stated in the review of As The Moon Painted Her Grief about Haate is still true here, and the additional track follows the same theme.

Dark atmospheres and much expanded proto-Classical 90’s Black Metal interludes/intros are the order of business, and judging by this business is booming.

Only one of these three tracks may be new, but it’s a joy to hear all of them regardless. And if you’ve never heard Haate at all, then do yourself a favour and have a good listen now.

Chiral are a relatively new band and I’ve really enjoyed following the development of this artist from first demo Winter Eternal to début EP Abisso. For such a very talented and promising band I was excited to hear Chiral’s contribution to this split, especially as it’s a whopper of a track at 20 minutes in length.

Synths start us off before guitars, blasting drums and screaming daemons join the party. The brain behind Chiral, once more, has outdone himself.

This is quality Atmospheric Black Metal, frozen to the touch and icy to the core. It’s a highly emotive and engaging work with variation and good pacing.

The song – Everblack Fields of Nightside – seems to draw you into its dark embrace and keep you there. The Blackened melodies are enhanced by keyboard backing in a way that seems to be both subtle and overt, which is quite an achievement.

The general sound is extremely satisfying, with everything having the right level in the mix and the drums in particular sound well-rounded and surprisingly warm for such a frigid release.

Chiral keep getting better, there’s no other way to say it.

Top split, check it out.

Chiral – Abisso (Review)

ChiralItaly’s Chiral return with a new release in the form of this EP.

I previous encountered this band on their Eternal Winter demo and was suitably impressed. At only 10 minutes in length it was an enjoyable listen of frozen Black Metal, and as I said at the time, I have been looking forward to hearing what comes next.

Well the wait is over, as now Abisso is here; this time delivering us 22 minutes of music to feast on.

Things start off slow and atmospheric with Alto I: Disceso Nel Buio, which really, really does it for me in establishing a mournful but almost martial atmosphere. The vocals this time around are even more bowel looseningly deep than previously.

Alto I: Oblio is fast and razor sharp and the vocals are high shrieks that can cut flesh at 100 paces. Frozen melodics quickly give way to soft acoustics that have almost and Opeth-vibe to them before we’re back in the fast lane once more. Propelled by atmosphere and driven by a love of Black Metal, this is a great track. As a bonus, you can even hear the bass doing some great things.

Track three is Alto II: Abisso; at almost 12 minutes long this is the main event, so to speak, of the EP. This once more explores the waters of 70’s inspired Opeth-style acoustics with some nice leads making an appearance. The atmosphere doesn’t let up and the dirgy sounds build and morph into a more Blackened landscape with ease. Vocals streak like static across this icy tundra and the entire song really hits the spot.

Finally we have Alto II: In Assenza, which at just over 1 minute in length is an outro of sorts.

Elite Black Metal.

So, another win for Chiral.

Chiral – Winter Eternal (Review)

ChiralThis is the first demo release from Chiral, from Italy.

For a demo the sound is better than you might expect.

The music is melodic and frozen Black Metal with utterly dark, deep, guttural Death Metal utterances bubbling just undeneath. Occasional screams break the surface and leave ripples of discontent where they appear.

Old-School Swedish Black/Death Metal influences can be heard, but these are not plagiarised, merely used for passionate inspiration.

The demo cover reinforces the cold nature of the music, with the shrouded sun promising a brief hint of hope amongst a forlorn scene, characterised in the songs by the melodic riffs vying for position with the darker, icy aura.

Three tracks, 10 minutes in length. Very enjoyable for the short time it’s with us. I look forward to seeing what comes next from Chiral.