The Chasm – The Scars of a Lost Reflective Shadow [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

The Chasm have achieved legendary cult status in the death metal universe. Bursting on the scene way back in 1992, this Mexican act essentially took the blueprint from Possessed’s Seven Churches, slapped some early Mayhem insanity on top, and off they went into the swirling madness. An album from The Chasm is guaranteed to throw more wild riffs at you than a sane mind can process and you will be battered and bewildered by the twists and turns their trademark style takes. 2017s A Conscious Creation From the Isolated Domain – Phase I was an entirely instrumental death metal album and it should not have worked, but it certainly did. Fast forward 5 years and Daniel Corchado (guitar, vocals, bass) and Antonio León (drums) go back to their core sound for The Scars of a Lost Reflective Shadow and the world is a better place for it. This is 42 minutes of thrashing, bashing, old school death metal that could have existed in the late 80s and it’s a thing of horrible beauty and occult mystery.

All the trademarks of The Chasm’s weird style are on display here with material that sounds like it was born at the moment when death and black metal diverged from thrash. Hyperactive scorchers like “A Keen But Empty Sight” will force a smile from even the most jaded metal veteran as razor-sharp, blackened riffs rip and tear at you and tempos shift, twist, and contort into grotesque forms. One top-notch riff ascends to dominance only to fall to another more urgent line and the listener is dragged along through the loony bin. “An Occult Gift Responds” is like a collaboration between Slayer and Death when both acts were in their creative prime. The riffs run for days and the pace is kept at near-hysterical levels. Making this absolute riff deluge all the more impactful, The Chasm have slightly dialed back the sheer chaos of their usual writing to allow for a more streamlined ebb and flow. I say slightly because this is still pretty madcap shit most of the time and it will make you seasick

This toothsome twosome haven’t forsaken their penchant for instrumentals either, as 3 of the 9 cuts are without vocals yet still hit like an 18-wheeler full of cinderblocks (check out opener “Return of the End (The Ancient Spirit That Makes Me Aware)” for proof). At times the insanity reminds me of German thrash lunatics Desaster, but this is way more adventurous and polished with much better riffcraft. And talk about riffs! There are A LOT of them here, friends. Listening to this album is the aural equivalent of being trapped in one of those glass bubbles with all the dollars blowing around inside. What you catch you keep. and brother, you’re gonna be rich! This is a trve riff feast and no one is leaving without a full bellly and a chronic case of ear gout.

While The Scars is not perfect and there’s a bit of bloat on some songs, it’s one of the most wildly engaging albums of 2022 and it channels enough raw kinetic energy to revive several really, really dead people. The Chasm remain one of the kings of cult death metal and I hope they reign for another 40 years. Do not miss this sick beast, you messed up bastards.1

Tracks to Check Out: ”Return of the End (The Ancient Spirit That Makes Me Aware),” “A Keen But Empty Sight,” “An Occult Gift Responds”

Show 1 footnote

  1. Don’t miss any albums by The Chasm!
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