Release Date: March, 2016
Label: Deathrune Records
After more than a decade of crawling in the shadows of the underground, through demo tapes, splits and 7’’ vinyls, the time finally came for CHAOSBAPHOMET, the solid duo of Ravenlord Wampyri Draconium (EMPIRE OF THE MOON, TATIR) and Iapetos (UNHOLY ARCHANGEL), to step through the gates of full-length releases, an step that sometimes transforms the artists from a promising band to a special and influential entity within the sonic genre they advocate.
In that context, it could come as an initial surprise that “Promethean Black Flame” has a rather short duration. 5 + 2 tracks (one intro and one cover of titans NECROMANTIA) and 35 minutes “only”, one can wonder. And then they will press “play” and they will understand. Indeed, one will understand that Ravenlord, using experience and wisdom derived from 20 years of presence in domestic blackmetal catacombs, does not care for the number of tracks or running time but only for the SUBSTANCE behind all this. And the substance of “Promethean Black Flame” reeks of primordial Hellenic blackmetal, with the spirit of aforementioned NECROMANTIA ever-present.
Obscure heavy metal, filtered through the aggressive temper of satanic mid-tempo thrash/death (listen to “Dysnasty Of Typhon”) of the second half of the 80s as well as through the imposing doom riffs like those dominating the opening part of “To Eos”, is the one honored throughout the record and brings to mind memories of milestone names from eras past (SAMAEL, MASTER’S HAMMER). What can one say about the mood transition of the horrific “Blood Of Hydra” (with exquisite participations from Gothmog and Acherontas VP9) which starts in a crawling, abysmal tone before bursting into a majestic chorus, to the point that we actually look around the room to identify the serpent with the nine heads? For closure, we should make special reference to “Nightside Realm”, which with its synths and its ultra-heavy riffs, its melodies and outbursts, throws us back to ’91-’92 –an era when a certain subgenre called doom/death tore apart metallic souls– until in the end it returns us back to the blackmetal cauldron boiling only for ourselves.
The warm sound of the guitar, free from digital makeovers, the drums without any sort of artificial help and the perilous vocals intensify the atmosphere to levels similar to the aura that arose from releases of 25 years ago; to the point that the more we listen to this record the more out-of-place seem any modern object around us. Yet, the most amazing of all things gained while listening to “Promethean Black Flame”, is not any of the elements presented in the previous paragraph. It’s the awesome flow that defines the whole creation making the listening a process experienced with a single breath and “Spiritforms Of The Necromancer” (the record’s closing track) easily transforming into a song “of their own”. Does anyone disagree that such a medal of honor only few bands could claim?