Chaosweaver- Enter the Realm of the Doppelganger

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, June 25, 2012

It has been a few months since I last checked out the Napalm Records roster, and it seems that lately they’ve been branching out even further from the folk and power metal that I had often associated them with. The label has become quite versatile, and Finland’s Chaosweaver is a perfect example. Chaosweaver takes a symphonic black metal base, throws in some melodic death metal and industrial elements and then wraps everything into a seamless album with songs that fit together cohesively on their newest release Enter the Realm of the Doppelganger. It’s an extremely well put together piece of work that could potentially grab some listeners that aren’t typically interested in black metal influenced material.

Part of what makes Enter the Realm of the Doppelganger so listenable is the way one song flows into the next. It really feels as though Chaosweaver has written every moment within the context of the whole album, and this will likely encourage listeners to experience the entirety of the release rather than skipping around. But even if you do decide to skip around, there are a lot of interesting moments that are difficult to pin into one particular genre of metal. One moment the instrumentalists might be in full on symphonic black metal mode, while the next they have slowed down the tempo and have taken on a slight gothic metal feel. It never feels as though the group is repeating themselves, and despite the fact that there is 48 minutes worth of material to absorb the material always stays interesting. There is also a lot of crossover into cleaner territory, and because of this it seems likely that Chaosweaver could achieve some fans from people that aren’t necessarily avid metal listeners.

The lead vocals are what I think will generate most of the melodic death metal comparisons, as the primary vocal style is a throaty scream that is very close to many of the other melodeath singers out there. Although this type of scream has always been a bit of an acquired taste, the way it is done on Chaosweaver’s material makes it easy to take in the lyrical content and ups the intensity level. Different backing vocals pop up at various points on the album, ranging from growls to theatrical narration that all tie the album together into a single body of work. There could actually be even more vocal variation, and considering that all of the styles that pop up are well performed this is one of the areas the group could expand upon in the future.

Many of the metal genres that this band showcases on Enter the Realm of the Doppelganger are styles that I haven’t been impressed by as much in recent years, which is why it’s a pleasant surprise that Chaosweaver stands out. There’s a lot of different things happening on this album but there are still enough hooks to keep it from feeling as though the instrumentalists have attempted too much at once. Fans of symphonic black metal, melodic death metal, and extreme metal in general should check these guys out, as they’ve put together a memorable release.

http://www.napalmrecords.com/

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