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The Chasm is a Mexican-American Progressive Death Metal band originally formed in Mexico City, but based in Chicago since 1997. As of 2019, they have released eight full-length albums and a handful of EPs and demos. Their sound is fairly old-school, but their song structures give them a fair deal of Progressive Metal influence, and they also arguably incorporate mild influence from Post-Rock and Black Metal.

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Their seventh full-length album, Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, was something of a New Sound Album, as a full half of the songs were instrumental. That album, which was in all likelihood their most commercially successful release to date, presaged a further change on their most recent album, A Conscious Creation from the Isolated Domain (Phase I), which is entirely instrumental. This created a mild Broken Base, as some fans missed the vocals, whereas others pointed out that Farseeing was half instrumental anyway.

Lead songwriter/guitarist/erstwhile vocalist Daniel Corchado also runs the label Lux Inframundis Productions (Latin for Light of the Underworld), and you can stream and purchase the majority of the band’s material on the label’s Bandcamp. He also has a tremendous number of side projects, some related to metal, some less so, and additionally was the lead vocalist on Incantation’s acclaimed third album, Diabolical Conquest (which, perhaps not coincidentally, was also probably Incantation’s most musically progressive album).

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Listeners can expect Epic Rocking and Epic Riffs aplenty from any of The Chasm’s albums. Their material displays a fairly large degree of technical proficiency and can be quite catchy at times, while also remaining quite atmospheric. Although their pace of output has slowed down in recent years, they’ve amassed a reputation as one of death metal’s most reliably consistent bands.

Albums

  • 1994 – Procreation of the Inner Temple
  • 1995 – From the Lost Years…
  • 1998 – Deathcult for Eternity: The Triumph
  • 2000 – Procession to the Infraworld
  • 2002 – Conjuration of the Spectral Empire
  • 2004 – The Spell of Retribution
  • 2009 – Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm
  • 2017 – A Conscious Creation from the Isolated Domain (Phase I)

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Tropes applicable to the band

  • Cover Song: They’ve done covers of “Funeral Rites” by Sepultura, “Cut-Throat” by Bulldozer, “Take Their Lives” by Kreator, “Metal Storm/Face the Slayer” by Slayer, and “Metal Church” by, well, Metal Church.
  • Easter Egg/Hidden Track: Neither the packaging nor the advertising for the LP version of Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm made any mention of either the extended ending of “The Mission – Arrival to Hopeless Shores (Calling the Paranormal Abysm)” or the bonus track, a cover of Sepultura’s “Funeral Rites”.
  • Epic Rocking: A staple of their sound. All their albums have examples of this, but Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm is probably the most noteworthy case; apart from a brief instrumental interlude, every song exceeded six and a half minutes. “The Mission – Arrival to Hopeless Shores (Calling the Paranormal Abysm)” is the crown jewel of this, being 11:52 on the CD and around 13:22 on the LP (the instrumental ending is extended before it fades out). Also topping the nine-minute mark are "Vault to the Voyage" (11:13), "CC XI" (10:00) "Procession to the Infraworld" (9:37), "The Eclipse: Monument to the Empire" (9:30), and "A Dream of an Astral Spectrum (Revision MMXI)" (9:04). Their average song length is probably about six or seven minutes.
  • Instrumental: They had a few examples on earlier albums, mostly Album Intro Tracks. However, Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm had four: “Callous Spectre – Vehement Opposition”, “Farseeing…”, “Structure of the Seance”, and “Vault to the Voyage”. The latest album is entirely instrumental. Daniel Corchado said this wasn’t so much a stylistic choice as feeling like he no longer had anything worth writing about that would fit in their vocal style.
  • Lead Bassist: Corchado, when he takes on the role, by virtue of also being guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. To a lesser extent, whoever occupies the bass slot is likely to qualify as type D given the nature of the band’s music. Corchado and Julio Viterbo shared bass duties on Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, and it’s pretty much just a third guitar with a lower pitch; they even play chords on the bass at times.
  • Lead Drummer: To some extent, Antonio León, partially due to his technical ability and partially by being one of the two constant members of the band (alongside guitarist/vocalist/occasional bassist Daniel Corchado).
  • Limited Lyrics Song: A few examples. “The Mission – Arrival to Hopeless Shores (Calling the Paranormal Abysm)” only has ten lines (eleven if you count one line that gets repeated). But see above for its length.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: A fair number of their releases.
    • “Storm of Revelations” (7:02) on Procession to the Infraworld.
    • “Procession to the Infraworld” (9:38) on Conjuration of the Spectral Empire.
    • “The Mission – Arrival to Hopeless Shores (Calling the Paranormal Abysm)” (11:52) on Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm (CD version; the LP version, on which this song is even longer, is a subversion because there’s a bonus four-minute Sepultura cover afterwards).
    • “CC XI” (10:00) on A Conscious Creation from the Isolated Domain (Phase I).
  • Long Title: About half of their songs and albums, honestly, as seen throughout this page. However, the longest is probably “The Eclipse: Monument to the Empire / I. Sentence and Burden / II. The Voyage / III. The Restitution”, from The Spell of Retribution.
  • Loudness War: Sometimes played straight; sometimes averted. Procession to the Infraworld (2000) is DR5. The Spell of Retribution (2004) is DR4. In between them, we have Conjuration of the Spectral Empire (2002), which is DR9. Go figure. As for more recent releases, Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm (2009) is DR7, which is actually slightly quiet by modern metal standards. Their most recent release, Conscious Creation (2017), is DR6.
  • Metal Scream: It’s death metal, so this is to be expected, at least before they went completely instrumental. Daniel Corchado usually uses the type 2 growl expected of death metal, though he can also do a pretty good type 3.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Probably generally in the 9 or 10 area. A few of the instrumentals might be 8s or even 7s.
  • New Sound Album: Their sound (and quality) has remained fairly consistent through the years, but the Progressive Metal influence has gradually increased from album to album, as reflected in the song lengths. The most noteworthy change is probably the gradual disappearance of vocals seen in Farseeing (half instrumental) and Conscious Creation (completely instrumental), though.
  • Revolving Door Band: Downplayed. Daniel Corchado and Antonio León have both been with the band since the beginning. The bass and second guitar slots have played the trope straight, however.
  • Start My Own: Daniel Corchado formed The Chasm after departing Cenotaph. A strange example, however, as Cenotaph’s Julio Viterbo actually performed in The Chasm as well for quite some time.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: The song “Farseeing…”, which is a gentle instrumental without much if any guitar distortion. This leads into “Structure of the Seance”, which is also instrumental, but not particularly gentle.
  • Title Track:
    • Subverted several times:
      • The song “Procession to the Infraworld” actually appears on Conjuration of the Spectral Empire.
      • The song “Procreation of the Inner Temple” appears on From the Lost Years….
      • The song “Deathcult for Eternity” also appears on From the Lost Years….
    • Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm sort of Zig Zags the trope, having “Farseeing…” and “The Mission – Arrival to Hopeless Shores (Calling the Paranormal Abysm)”.
    • The only straight example they’ve ever had was on their EP Reaching the Veil of Death.
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