CHAOSSWORN (Sweden) “Chalice of Black Flames” CD EP review by

CHAOSSWORN (Sweden) “Chalice of Black Flames” CD EP review


By Peter Loftus

When Chaossworn rose from the ashes of symphonic black metal act Cryptic Death somewhere towards the end of 2009, the change of name was accompanied by a change in style. The new direction borrowed more heavily from Sweden’s melodic death metal scene and relied less on the black metal elements employed prior to 2009. “Chalice of Black Flames” was put out as a demo early in 2010 and brought the band to the attention of the people at Abyss records who quickly signed the band and released the demo as a 15 minute EP of the same name.

The first track, “Crowned and Winged” is a slightly underwhelming introduction, sounding a bit too much like mid-paced Amon Amarth for my liking. Fortunately Chaossworn redeem themselves with some tasty soloing and the bridge reveals some excellent musicianship, with complex rhythms and accomplished fretwork. Mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö, the sound is clean and professional. The guitars are chunky, the solos full of character and colour and balance is just right. In “Bringer of Storms”, the guys remind us of their black metal past with punishing blastbeats and a simple and repetitive main riff. The bridge is once again where Chaossworn come into their own; measured and atmospheric, the guitars writhe and coil like snakes above a fiery pit of spoken vocals. Title track “Chalice of Black Flames” brings the EP to a close. The quirky intro and chorus riff brings to mind Dark Tranquility at their best. Once again, the bridge is incredible and the guitar lines are a work of beauty, making this the standout track of the release.

I found the opening track predisposed me to dislike Chaossworn. After all – do we really need another Swedish Amon Amarth/Dark Tranquility hybrid? This changed once I got into the second and third tracks and they started to work their magic on me. It is obvious that Chaossworn can all handle their instruments, and their mature sound clearly demonstrates how much work they have put into perfecting their craft. The songs are well structured and the instrumental parts can be exceptional at times.

Ultimately, with a bit more originality and a stronger first track, this would have been a very impressive debut. While it is a bit too derivative to gain a really high score, it still makes for good listening and if Chaossworn play to their strengths they could easily become one of the star attractions in the melodic DM scene.

Rating: 4.5/6

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