Of Beatings and the Silence in Between

Woodcut Records 2008

Finland has been vomiting forth death metal bands lately at an alarming rate and Chthonian to me are probably the best and most promising of the lot.   Chthonian hurl out a deadly combination of death and black metal.  The most prominent role in the music is assumed by the death metal but there is a strong and furious outburst of black metal occurring just beneath the surface.  On Thirteen this influence becomes readily apparent with some comparison to Battles in the North era Immortal when they are playing their fastest.  The merciless ferocity of Weep Human Weep batters your face like a sledgehammer wielding berserker, leaving nothing but pulp as they alternate from inhuman blast beats to mildly atmospheric mid tempo passages.  That'll Teach You begins with the characteristic Immortal-esque crunching rhythms before slipping into dissonant midtempo segments.  Syringes and Chemicals continues in the same vein though the midtempo parts add a little low-end and bring to mind an armored vehicle surging across the battle field.  The title track coaxes the listener in with a mild melody before jack-hammering their face with ferocious drum work.  The vocals are coarse and gravely but not guttural, lending a really dry feeling to Mathias' throat.  At just over 27 minutes, the album is short but that is probably about the right length for this material.  While not mind-blowing, Of Beatings... is certainly a promising start.  After delivering a beating of monstrous proportions their fists must be covered with welts and bloodied knuckles.