Bal-Sagoth - The Chthonic Chronicles
Nuclear Blast
Barbaric, Epic, Swaggering Metal
12 songs (60:39)
Release year: 2006
Bal-Sagoth, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Andrew
Album of the month
Something like barbarism bred with the most arcane misanthropy, the most glistening splendor of fantastical warfare, do Bal-Sagoth define a grace unfettered in the encompassing world of metal ... inspiring heaps of metallions, from countless viking metal acts to numerous symphonic bands, the Brits have yet to be rivaled and, assuredly, never shall. For those unfamiliar with the majesty that is Bal-Sagoth, imagine the most profane incantations, the most archaic literature conceived unto audible form with exemplary precision ... a precision so incisive that you'd swear, between the void of imaginative realism and barren reality, Cthulhu sprawled forth from those very crimson waves now carven in legendry, ever-plaguing unfortunate mariners and, ultimately, forever blackening the colossal nexus known as the universe; such is the surreal cost of such refinement, though how grand does it resound!

The Chthonic Chronicles is Bal-Sagoth's sixth conjuration upon the world, and, yet again, does it beset profound musical growth whilst being absorbed with the band's inarguable charisma. Making a valiant return to the use of instrumental passages, as especially heard on Starfire Burning Upon The Ice-Veiled Throne Of Ultima Thule and Battle Magic, Bal-Sagoth manage to create such textures and images so vivid that it would seem one was traveling through the very cosmos and reddened battlefields themselves, becoming alike with the literary genius of Bal-Sagoth, drowning evermore in the wake of imagination. Beckoning the call of inspired compositional majesty, the British champions make clever use of subtle electronics and beatific melodies on the cascading movement The Fallen Kingdoms Of The Abyssal Plain whilst then expressing otherworldly harshness on the following track, Shackled To The Trilithon Of Kutulu, (clearly inspired by Howard Phillips Lovecraft's untouched creations, though physically altered for copyright concerns) in which the band manages to weave soundscapes so bombastic and baroque it shall assuredly send any listener enthralled to ebon skies where, lost in the raging fleet of barbaric metal glory, all is forgotten in a harmonic, catatonic state. Rigid narratives abound the album, courtesy of the scholarly Byron A. Roberts (vocalist and storyteller), traversing the already malign, gargantuan compositions into even more unabridged territory, calling forth an atmosphere so definitive yet so menacing, that, simply, it would be folly to deny such formative grandiosity.

Each chapter of The Chthonic Chronicles stands as something so distinct to behold, so characteristic that every passing melody can be described as being blessed with nothing less than visceral dynamic, in which Bal-Sagoth defy all standardization like a menacing clarion call upon a dying world ... this is from the beyond; be it from the untouched treasuries of Atlantis or from the latent horrors beyond mortal consciousness, let it be said that Azathoth's appeal has assuredly been slaked ... "Crush them, grind them, slay them all!"
Killing Songs :
Andrew quoted 96 / 100
Jason quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Bal-Sagoth that we have reviewed:
Bal-Sagoth - The Power Cosmic reviewed by Kyle and quoted 95 / 100
Bal-Sagoth - Battle Magic reviewed by Jay and quoted 68 / 100
Bal-Sagoth - Atlantis Ascendant reviewed by Danny and quoted 73 / 100
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