In a lot of ways one has to feel a bit bad for The Chasm these days. They have worked as hard, or harder, than almost any band in the underground and fought for ground the whole time. They finally managed to fight their way to a good record deal with a good label that subsequently collapsed and now they’re back at at ground zero. Well, not really ground zero, think Point A. But not even really Point A, because honestly Point A is “write good music,” which they’ve got down. However, as opposed to breaking up after getting knocked down, The Chasm have instead produced a record: 2009’s opus Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, which doesn’t have the same kind of support that it should have despite its fantastic quality.
And quality does Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm contain. My, my does it contain quality. The name of the album probably gets across the basic fundamentals of what’s going on here. Translated for those who don’t know what an “abysm” is, it’s safe to say that it’s basically an abyss. All of the atmospheric implications of a name like Farseeing the Paranormal Aybsm are definitely realized within this epic offering from The Chasm.
What The Chasm has done on Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is something that many black metal bands would be totally jealous of, they have offered a highly epic, atmospheric record with great riffs and rawness that is also artistically interesting and still heavy. At the same time as it calls back to the greats of heavy metal it creates a very unique set of boundaries for the sound of the album. In a lot of ways it’s very thrashy, but still nearly black metal in its execution. Long passages of this album have no vocals and there are tons of excellent epic riffs which strike out of nowhere with whirlwind ferocity. The changes are smart, the soloing is good and the vocals are fantastic.
Probably the weakest aspect of this entire album is the production, which is a bit raw by modern standards, but I think a lot of fans of more raw music will actually really appreciate this raw production as it adds to the atmosphere of the misty nature of the record. And while many of the songs threaten to get a bit long, played at the proper volume on a rainy, misty winter day or at just before the sun disappears completely and you will be totally entranced by the dark, gritty atmosphere that this album helps evoke.
Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is a triumph for underground death metal in this day and age where death metal is becoming more mainstream and more “core,” and it’s a triumph for The Chasm who have shown once again that they are as resourceful as they are excellent.