Dead Chasm - Dead Chasm

Fresh on the death metal scene from Italy, the debut EP from Dead Chasm as their self titled effort embaces the old school death metal route of the early 90s groups such as Immolation or Incantation with 4 tracks of dark, sludgy riffs that walk the line between death and doom metal. Opening with slow churn riffs and heavy distortion before picking up after a few seconds of doom laden suspense one pretty much gets a good sample of what the band is about. On the downside the track all pretty much blend together as the band keeps a focus on letting the guitars and vocals carry most of the weight, although there is some pretty good rumbling bass lines here and there in the middle of a track like ‘Spawned In Desoaltion.’

The vocals are mostly that rough shouted death grunt that seems pretty one sided, but having a female led vocalist who can growl is always a nice surprise and step away from the norm for most death metal bands. While she doesn’t have the range of someone like Melissa from Rage of Light or the ferocity of Heidi from Butcher Babies, Dead Chasm’s vocalist Lorenza holds her own as well as guitar duties, so the long grim riffs are all thanks to her. Drumming tends to get a bit lost in the mix due to the production, but Dave showcases his better work on the more thunderous percussive tones of a track like ‘Left Unknown’ which is the darkest track on the album and does a great job of going between fast and slow versus starting slow and then just staying on one pace the whole time such as the opening track. Bass handled by Gigi is mostly lost in the mix save for a few bits on ‘Spawned…;’ the atmosphere is just a bit to thick to really appreciate the technicality of it.

‘Slumber’ the Nirvana cover is a little out of left field due to its rather punk grunge nature and a huge departure from the doom and gloom tone of the album. It has the ferocity of the more death metal styled parts of some of the other tracks but tries to hold true to the original with the attitude. Here vocalist Lorenza finally showcases something a little different then her typical grunt with more of a snarl/ scream which adds depth to the music. Overall it would have been nice to see more tracks to be able to judge a full scope of sound from Dead Chasm but from what they have so far it is definitely worth checking out for those who like lo fi grim sounding death metal that is more Incantation than Cannibal Corpse. Not quite the most original style but certainly easy to get swallowed up in especially with the slower, darker riffs. 

3 / 5 STARS

1. Carved Into Obscurity
2. Spawned In Desolation
3. Left Unknown
4. Slumber (cover Nirvana)