Chapter have unleashed their dark art in April 2015 with their debut album Syndrome, a six-track black metal masterpiece. Well, when the album starts we are immediately overwhelmed by the furious riffs of “Progression”, which, except for a calmer central part, continues until the end of the song. The second track “Reclaim” flows from the final notes of “Progression” and makes a larger use of mid and slow tempos. In “Nectar” we have again the destructive fury of Astaroth’s riffs; these riffs do not follow the tremolo cliché and are often built on powerful bichords and rhythm patterns that are atypical for black metal, so to speak. Of course these riffs are often also accompanied by a melody. Syndrome also contains melodic and evocative, moments like the enchanted melodies of “Mercury” where keyboards are also used.
The technical performance of Astaroth is remarkable on all instruments, but also the scream of Howler is very effective and fits perfectly the mood of the music. Another point in favour of the Ukrainian duo is the excellent production of the album, with sounds that cleverly studied for the atmosphere of the music and above all crystal clear. According to Astaroth, the Syndrome album reflects all his feelings in the most touch periods of his life. It can be said that Syndrome is a perfect combination of harshness, melody and atmosphere; even in the most furious moments in the album you cannot help but feel something evocative and dreamlike. Personally, I feel that the message is total desolation and escape from the mean reality of our world, perhaps an escape to the pure and uncontaminated world of nature.
To conclude, Syndrome is one of the most beautiful albums released in 2015 so far, once you've listened to it, you cannot help but listen to it again and again. Congratulations and above all thanks to their label Bloodred Distribution for discovering this wonderful band.
Release date: april 5 2015 on Bloodred Distribution; 6-panel digipack, limited edition, 500 copies. The album can be physically and digitally purchased through the Bandcamp player below, along with merch.
Astaroth Merc: all instruments
Text by Herjann