Chained And Desperate – Divine Authority Abolishment review
8.4 Chained And Desperate – Divine Authority Abolishment
29 July 2011
Goods news everyone! Listening to melodic black metal no longer automatically makes you a wuss (everything else you do does). It’s ok, here’s something to shove into your ear-hole that is equal parts melodic & catchy, as well as vicious and dark. As a bonus, it doesn’t suck.
Now that I’m through with the trolling (for now), let me tell you, Chained And Desperate are really onto something here. The first thing that’s noticeable about this is the…feel to the whole thing. While a good majority of black metal bands will always sit comfortably with somewhat distant sounding production, Chained And Desperate are pretty damn proud of these riffs, using a product that gives Divine Authority Abolishment a more up-close feel, making all the guitar work very clear and precise. A lot of the times this sounds quite similar to Skeletonwitch. In fact, if you took Skeletonwitch, slowed it down a touch, but made the riffing a little more epic you’d have yourself a pretty close match (not to say these riffs aren’t distinct).
Clean vocals…Why is every band throwing unnecessary clean vocals into their music these days? I mean, occasionally they do fit into this bands music, and on even fewer occasions, they really improve it (the title track being one of the lone exceptions). Chained And Desperate were doing fine just rocking the harsh vocals, they had everything going for them – the riffs were simultaneously menacing and catchy, the vocals were aggressive…the whole thing just gelled perfectly, then they had to throw in some horribly stuffy sounding singing. Oh well, the attempt at variation is always appreciated, but in this case, it was completely unneeded.
Melodic black metal; it’s a love or hates thing, people. Worth checking out for those who enjoy it.
LISTEN HERE SOME PARTS OF THE ALBUM:
Chained And Desperate – Divine Authority Abolishment (Pitch Black Records)
By: Justin Donnelly
[6.5/10] Having established themselves as a label that brought to the masses the best underground power metal Greece has to offer, Pitch Black Records have decided to diversify their roster and delve into darker and heavier territory under their newly crowned Blackest Pitch Series. And their first offering under their newly launched subsidiary label is the sophomore effort from Athens blackened/doom metal outfit Chained And Desperate.
Despite their long history, little has been heard from Chained And Desperate since the release of their debut effort Eleven Angles In A Circle in 2000. But after a period of inactivity (which was taken up by two members’ military service), Chained And Desperate once again regrouped and have delivered Divine Authority Abolishment.
The opening track “Nine Deaths In August” firmly establishes the band’s take on the black metal/doom metal sound, and while its not entirely ground breaking or incredibly innovative, it’s a solid mix of aggression (especially with the blackened rasp of the vocal attack) and the melodic (the riffs are quite catchy as they are well executed). Production-wise, some of the atmosphere and rawness has been sacrificed for what sounds like a clean, digitalised sound, which doesn’t exactly work. But despite the sterile production, there are enough strong moments within the song to work in the band’s favour, rather than against.
“Rely On Fears” doesn’t stray too far from what was already established on the opener, apart from the inclusion of some rather weak clean vocals, which don’t exactly enhance the song enough to really give it that something special. The faster paced “Bridge For Theism”, “Irrational” and the title track “Divine Authority Abolishment” are definite stand out tracks with the band producing a strong melodic groove within the songs overtly blacked metal framework, while the follow up track “Chained” manages to stand out for its greater power metal influences, and the stronger clean vocals that feature throughout its duration.
A bit more experimentation is evident in “Ariadne’s Thread,” “Curtains of Cold” and “Iconographies” where the band try to mix elements of power metal and black metal together, and while it doesn’t work all that well in the former two, the mix of styles does work quite well in the latter track.
Although hindered by some weak clean vocals in patches, and a production that stifles the overall mood and feel of the songs, Divine Authority Abolishment is a solid and likeable release that will at least allow the band to re-establish themselves on the scene, and something to build upon with their next release.
Chained and Desperate: Divine Authority Abolishment
Taking their name from NWOBHM band Chateaux’s 1983 debut album, Greek melodic black metallers Chained and Desperate released six demos between ’91 and ’97 and their debut album, Eleven Angles in a Circle, in 2000. Now, eleven years later, they have released their second release, Divine Authority Abolishment. Being Greek and playing black and death metal invites inevitable comparisons with Rotting Christ, and so, drawing on influences as diverse as Bathory, Death, Candlemass, and even Manowar (ye gods!), Chained and Desperate have pushed their sound further into territories that Rotting Christ need not. In fact, the only element of this record that keeps them within the black metal genre is the evilly shrieked vocals. Power Metal makes an appearance here and there, as does Euro metal, particularly in the blending of seamlessly disparate styles. Finely crafted and well played, Divine Authority Abolishment is an interesting work with enough surprises to make it an easy yet compelling listen. The production, also, is very good, maybe a little too polished as the guitars are overshadowed at times by the vocals, a shame as there are some remarkable guitar riffs in there. Eleven years in the making, Chained and Desperate have returned with a record that, even for those who are not taken with black metal, has more to offer than what the blackened mass usually produce.
- Nine Deaths in August
- Rely on Fears
- Bridge for Theism
- Ariadne’s Thread
- Divine Authority Abolishment
- Curtains of Cold
Added: July 17th 2011
Reviewer: Jason Guest
Related Link: Band Website
Does the name DESPERATION DEATH mean anything to you? If not, don’t worry because CHAINED AND DESPERATE will! We’re still talking about the same extreme metal band from Greece which was formed in 1990 and only recently decided to change their name. I’m sure this time the guys will finally have the chance to set things right and make their music known worldwide. Their sophomore album is a state of the art, a bright example of how melodic black metal should sound and should be played, since it contains the quintessence of both the harsh and melodic aspects of black metal enriched with some doom touches here and there. Their black metal is surrounded by a great epic atmosphere, it’s sharp and intense, but it’s also filled with mesmerizing and enchanting melodies. The riffs are great, the rhythm section solid and the vocals enhance the variety of the compositions since they are dual with other times the black metal growls prevailing and other times the amazing clean ones! All in all, “Divine Authority Abolishment” is an incredible album that will be released in two versions, with the first pressing being strictly limited to 333 numbered copies housed inside a unique digipack. Give these guys a chance! They surely deserve it!
Chained and Desperate – Divine Authority Abolishment
Release date: July 29th, 2011
Label: Pitch Black Records
Hailing from Greece CHAINED AND DESPERATE is a brilliant case of a band returning -after a ten years period far from discography- more mature, more interesting and more solid than ever before.
The extreme metal outfit, formed in 1990 has released up to now six demos (!) and two full lengths. The second one, which came after eleven years, presents a band at its best despite the too long absence. Having tried many different mutations in musical style, such as Melodic Doom metal, Black metal, influenced greatly by NWOBHM (Try Google their name and you’ll know what I mean) the mighty DEATH, BATHORY, MANILA ROAD, CHAINED AND DESPERATE ended up with the specific unique sound that manages to blend a little bit of all the above making their sound interesting, not only for the black metal followers.
So, the fresh released” Divine Authority Abolishment” captures in a great way all the essence of the band’s exploration and experimentation of all these ten years , giving a final result quite impressive. The musical styles detected in here? 1. Black metal –of course- expressed hellishly by the astonishing growling vocals as well as the high pitched guitars; 2.War/Epic Metal coming from the high speed rhythm rotation and epic elements infused here and there although the album( glorious outbreaks, bombastic refrains); Heavy metal as the melodic guitar riffs explain so “maidenly” to our ears. All of the above mixed with a touch of modern European aesthetics explain what one can discover once spinning the “Divine Authority Abolishment”. The production is very nice, allowing the blending of the styles with no casualties and discounts in style and performing.
For those seeking an old-school Black metal material CHAINED AND DESPERATE have a different suggestion… Worthy release that uplifts the local scene in Greece and at the same time demonstrates the power of the band to go beyond the borders of the country. Beside Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, Naer Mataron e.t.c , Greece exports CHAIN AND DESPERATE also, drawing the attention of the metal scene…