Monday, August 8, 2011

Chained And Desperate - Divine Authority Abolishment

Chained And Desperate
Divine Authority Abolishment
Pitch Black Records

Having established themselves as a label that brought to the masses the best underground power metal Greece has to offer, Pitch Black Records have decided to diversify their roster and delve into darker and heavier territory under their newly crowned Blackest Pitch Series. And their first offering under their newly launched subsidiary label is the sophomore effort from Athens (Attica based) blackened/doom metal outfit Chained And Desperate.
Despite their long history, little has been heard from Chained And Desperate since the release of their debut effort ‘Eleven Angles In A Circle’ way back in 2000 (Which was released through the small independent label Hieroglyph Records). But after a period of inactivity (Which was taken up by two members’ military service), Chained And Desperate once again regrouped (Comprising of vocalists C.M. Ain and Kostas Makris, guitarist Panos ‘Chained’ Makris, new bassist Jim Havok and drummer George Pavlantis), and have delivered their long overdue new effort ‘Divine Authority Abolishment’.
The opening track ‘Nine Deaths In August’ firmly establishes the band’s take on the black metal/doom metal sound, and while its not entirely ground breaking or incredibly innovative, it’s a solid mix of aggression (Especially with the blackened rasp of the vocal attack) and the melodic (The riff are quite catchy as they are well executed). Production wise, some of the atmosphere and rawness has been sacrificed for what sounds like a clean, digitalised sound, which doesn’t exactly work. But despite the sterile production, there are enough strong moments within the song to work in the band’s favour, rather than against.
‘Rely On Fears’ doesn’t stray too far from what was already established on the opener, apart from the inclusion of some rather weak clean vocals, which don’t exactly enhance the song enough to really give it that something special.
The faster paced ‘Bridge For Theism’, ‘Irrational’ and the title track ‘Divine Authority Abolishment’ are definite stand out tracks with the band producing a strong melodic groove within the songs overtly blacked metal framework, while the follow up track ‘Chained’ manages to stand out for its greater power metal influences, and the stronger clean vocals that feature throughout its duration.
A bit more experimentation is evident in ‘Ariadne’s Thread’, ‘Curtains Of Cold’ and ‘Iconographies’ where the band try to mix elements of power metal and black metal together, and while it doesn’t work all that well in the former two, the mix of styles does work quite well in the latter track.
Although hindered by some weak clean vocals in patches, and a production that stifles the overall mood and feel of the songs, Chained And Desperate’s sophomore release ‘Divine Authority Abolishment’ is a solid and likeable release that will at least allow the band to re-establish themselves on the scene, and something to build upon with their next release.

For more information on Chained And Desperate, check out - http://www.chainedanddesperate.com/

© Justin Donnelly