Wailing at the Throne of Chaos: A Review of the Chemical Cascades Demo

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Sometimes we here at the Toilet get emails from bands looking for us to do a review of their tunes. Some of these groups have been awesome; others, not so much. Thankfully, Papa Joe received an email from a delightful troupe of Aussies by the name of Chemical Cascades, a black metal band with a sound as unsettling yet simultaneously rocking as Bozlinger’s drunk posts. I’m pleased to bring you this review of Chemical Cascades’ debut demo.

Right off the bat the band invites you into their occult ceremonies with the weirdo, inhuman chanting in “Noetic Contempt.” This short intro track merely sets the stage for what’s about to be unleashed though, and CC soon dive full bore into some rough, dirty, and mystifying black metal. Full disclosure: three years ago I would have hated this, but today I honestly keep finding myself listening to this short incantation of the inhuman glory.

This band is doing a lot of things right. First, the guitar-work by Gustaf Davidson and L. Trevarthen is spot-on, ranging from furious tremolo bursts in “Ad Astra” to visceral, buzzsaw shredding riffs in “Surface” to some interestingly thrashy segments in “Cosmic Winter.” The guitarists in Chemical Cascades know how to write some killer riffs, and no amount of fuzz can hold the fretwork down. In fact, I’d go so far to compare the guitar work and drumming in “Cosmic Winter” to something a more necro version of Death would have written during the Symbolic sessions. This raises the intriguing observation that this band is able to tie in a number of disparate threads from other subgenres to keep this dense knot intricate and foreboding.

The drums on this album are also top-shelf. There are a number of interesting rolls and tempo shifts on all the songs, with the band sometimes veering between blast beats and d-beats with the occasional expedition into thrash territory. It’s an interesting dynamic, but I dare you not to start headbanging at the 3:05 mark in “Surface.” The production doesn’t always make it easy to hear what the drummer is doing, but the blasts and cave-man hammerings are always enthralling throughout.

Speaking of engaging, I haven’t even mentioned the vocals yet. We’re trying not to displease great Cthulhu by taking his name in vain, but the distant, maddening echoes emitted by vocalist Gus Watson can be aptly described as something you might hear wailing deep in the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka. The lyrics are completely indiscernible, but that really doesn’t matter when Sleipnir’s banshee shrieks crescendo over Mike D’s furious skin-pummeling. The vocals themselves are a force, and they perfectly suit the maddening tone of these compositions.

Overall, there is a lot this band is doing right. However, I do have a few tiny complaints. I really can’t hear any audible bass, and I think a bit of low-end rumble could add an even more cataclysmic menace to the band’s mix. Speaking of the production, although I certainly don’t hate the super-lo-fi style here, I think a little more clarity could definitely bring some of the band’s inhuman vitriol to the fore. Lastly, this demo is a bit short for my taste. I think a full-length would definitely enable this band to stretch their legs a little and incorporate even more elements into their already potent mix. All in all, though, I dig this album, and I look forward to a full length release.

NO FLUSH

You can download the band’s demo for free here.

(Photo VIA)

(Editor’s Note: Vocals on this review were previously attributed to Tasmanian Sleipnir when they were in fact performed by Gus Watson. I apologize for the error. -Joe)

  • Metaphysical Anus

    Nice review, dude! This sounds good. I’m interested.

  • Randall Thor

    Great review, sounds like something I would dig. I MEAN SLAY BECAUSE IT’S NOT POWER METAL.

    • Metaphysical Anus

      Are we seeing the true layers of Randall?

      • Randall Thor

        Incoming shrek jokes

        • Metaphysical Anus

          I swear that I’m not going to do any of them after that one.

    • Cock of Steele

      (Pulls out Electric Wizard CD) Oh, so this is “Jag Panzer” I don’t even know you anymore!

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        I enjoyed the new Electric Wizard single. Did you?

        • Cock of Steele

          I thought it was good, possibly a little stale compared to Come My Fanatics/Dopethrone stuff.

    • My burning steel heart has place for Chemical Cascades.

    • W.

      Thanks, Warrior. Watch out for those myrddraals.

  • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

    I really like the drum sounds in this. It sounds like it was recorded in a toilet!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      A toilet > Audiohammer Studios

      (not really)

      • Christian Molenaar

        (I actually believe this)

        • Co-signed.

          • There goes our lucrative Creative Live endorsements.

          • Christian Molenaar

            Don’t worry, we still have BDubs in the works.

          • And Mr. Gold’s Gym just called about sponsoring Swellin’ to the Jammiez.

          • Cock of Steele

            A pox on Gold’s! These muscles were sculpted from the rigorous years of battling the poser onslaught!, Made only the more possible with a killer playlist.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I think that Planet Fitness should sponsor Swellin’ instead of Gold’s Gym as Planet Fitness would be a more lucrative investment,

          • Howard Dean

            I saw a BDubs yesterday in my travels (I don’t have one near where I live). I nodded, and then proceeded to go down the street and eat mango duck at a Thai restaurant.

            Here, take my bro card.

          • Christian Molenaar

            LEAVE THE HALL!

            *flush*

          • Howard Dean

            I just left…

            …with some mango duck and pad thai in tow. Only ethnic cuisine is real!

          • Christian Molenaar

            Not BDubs with Guy Fieri salsa verde (MasterLord-approved)? Not worth eating!!

          • Wait Masterlord does NOT approve of anything Guy Fieri.

          • I really should try something new when I get Thai food. I just can’t stop getting pad thai.

          • Howard Dean

            Dude, I fucking love pad thai. Especially with shrimp. I have a hard time not getting it every time, too. But that mango duck looked too good to pass up.

          • Yellow Curry>>>>>>

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I need to eat BDubs more often as they have good boneless wings. Not as good as the other wing place I go to called Hurricane but still very good.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Submitted chapter 2 of the bro ballad yesterday.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Yay! Coal rolling, BDubs and hopefully some more bro metal! Make sure to put FFDP and some nu metal band in there, preferably Korn or Slipknot.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Way ahead of you.

      • Howard Dean

        If your drum sounds like a pencil hitting a damp paper bag in a room down the hall, you’re doing something right. TOTAL SATAN!

    • W.

      The drums are my favorite part.

  • I listened to this through some cheap recording monitors and it sounded DOPE.

    • W.

      Listen to it under a blanket for the genuine experience.

      • Ferris Mueller

        I’m about to drop a deuce in my throne of chaos

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Throne Ov Chaos: possible alternate Toilet Ov Hell name?

  • Christian Molenaar

    Now this is what I’m talking about! I’m really glad that more bands seem to be combining the spaciness of Burzum with the punkiness/aggression of Darkthrone. Musically this band almost reminds me of a more immediate Aevangelist, but I definitely agree they’d sound a bit more menacing with clearer production.

    • I too enjoy the dichotomy of spacing out and then headbanging furiously.

      • W.

        Binary oppositions FTW!

    • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

      Fenriz is GOD

      • Scrimm
        • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

          that is one of my favorite interviews of all time

          • Scrimm

            I’ve watched this so many times. I am so sad that the video Nocturno Culto pops a sweet wheelie has been removed.

    • W.

      For a demo, though, this is solid!

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        I’m happy that it was free. I would have paid for it considering I liked it enough.

        • W.

          Yah, if they release a new album, I’ll definitely buy it.

    • Scrimm

      I second this. Quite enjoyable, with room for improvement.

      • W.

        Exactly.

    • W.

      I hadn’t put the Aevangelist dots together, but I think I can see it. CC are way catchier though. I keep getting songs stuck in my head.

    • Xan

      I’ve been enjoying these new black + other subgenre (most recently thrash and punk) bands. I’ve always enjoyed the vocals and guitar work in black metal but I’ve never liked the thin sound to it.

  • Howard Dean

    Nice find, Dubya! Those vocals! Goddamn! Some seriously caustic shit.

    I did a little searching around on the interwebs and found some cool info, including this interview.

    http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/podcasts/music/doom-hippy-and-metal-maiden-interview-chemical-cascades

    • W.

      Thanks, HD <3

  • I might be able to get behind this. Just need to know one thing: come fall will this band stare at their pedals during live shows while wearing cardigans?

    • W.

      Nope.

  • Tyree

    Glorious.

    • W.

      Knew you’d like it.

      • Tyree

        You done good Dubya. I’ll listen to it more later on, work has been super insane today.

        • W.

          I feel that. I can’t really get on here from 9-12 nowadays.

          • Tyree

            The good thing now is that I’ll be able to get online at night. I haven’t had internet at home for over a year now. I just picked up my Comcast equipment during lunch today.

          • W.

            I always wondered where you disappeared to at night.

          • Tyree

            I went to the club every night and danced like a maniac.

          • W.
          • Tyree

            Every night man. Every damn night.

          • Virgil the Ghost Poet

            Good for you. I couldn’t keep that pace up.

  • Gordön

    We have a great dad

  • W.

    Be sure to like these guys on Facebook. They only have 301 fans.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      It shall be done. Their demo was amazing. I enjoyed it very much.

      • W.

        I’m glad!

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I haven’t enjoyed a demo that much since listening to the demo tape of Static X for the first time in years a few days ago. I loved their demo and I have a copy of it somewhere in my cassette pile. I found a copy of it on eBay and it had no bids and I bought it for almost 100 dollars back in 2007.

          • W.

            Tastes in metal change, I guess.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I still love Static X. They’ve always been one of my favorite bands from that time period and they knew how to put on a live show. I saw them at Ozzfest twice and I also saw them on their tour for their 2005 album and their album Cult Of Static which even though I considered the album a letdown I still enjoyed it for what it was.

  • Randall Thor

    Did anyone else notice the mp3 download is 66.6 MB?

    • Metaphysical Anus

      You’ve got a good eye.

      • Tyree

        So do you. Nice and starfish like.

        • Metaphysical Anus

          Never have a threesome with a starfish. Their exoskeleton is harder than steel and it will feel like sex with a garage door. (I’m not sure if this breaks the moral code or the standards of this site)

          • W.

            You have lived a horrifying life.

          • Metaphysical Anus

            Thank you for your sympahty.

          • Sponge Of Mystery

            yea..patrick is a horrible person to double team a squirrel with

    • W.

      OooooOOoo

      • Howard Dean
        • W.

          Ooga booga. This looks intriguing.

          • Howard Dean

            It’s one of the bands I’ve uncovered and listened to during my recent adventure into witch house music.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I did not notice that but that make it sound so brutals.

  • Mother Shabubu III

    When will bands learn that everyone skips their intros if we see they are less than two minutes? Just combine it with the opening song so we can’t skip it and it actually adds something important.

    PS: If you have a thirty second of less intro, chances are I want you to be stepped on by a really large animal.

    /rant

    • or do away with intros altogether. nobody is impressed by them.

      • Mother Shabubu III

        Well it’s one thing to include it as part of a song, but when you separate it for the sake of it standing alone, it better have an impact otherwise you are correct.

        • W.

          I’ll agree on that. I wonder if that’s one of those weird relics of the pre-digital music age, like the bonus track at the end of the really long empty part on he final track?

      • Howard Dean

        Intros that are treated as mini-songs in themselves and that serve as a warm up for the album are welcome. I am actually impressed when a band can make an intro with substance that can stand alone, but that also leads into the rest of the album smoothly and appropriately. By adding it as its own track, the artist is able to keep the ideas he or she has for the intro separate from the album, and that way it doesn’t take away from the next track. But the intro has got to have “real” music and substance to it.

    • Howard Dean

      I think intros–even short ones ( < a minute and a half)–can be spectacular, as long as they have meat to them (read: aren't just random synth lines or ambient noise like seagulls or ocean waves). Short intros that have real riffs and that segue into the second track smoothly are awesome. Here are two excellent examples: the short (1:26) intro to Toxic Holocaust's "Hell on Earth" (which is grouped together with the album's second track on this youtube video), and, maybe the best example, the intro Epiklesis I (1:40) from Deathspell Omega's "Paracletus."

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM2oZ99-PqY

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cBLePYvI7g

      • Mother Shabubu III

        Exactly. This man gets what I am trying to say. I don’t consider that DsO song an intro though. Aside from seeming like a full, though short song, that whole album is mean to flow as one big piece.

        • Howard Dean

          Definitely. Remove that intro, and that album doesn’t feel right. It could’ve easily been released as a single 40+ minute track.

  • Xan

    Fucking hell, I need to actually be able to do something this afternoon other than listen to bands.

    • W.

      Nah!