COSMOGON - Chaos Magnum

Cosmogon - Chaos Magnum

8 songs
31:37 minutes
***** ****


When local death metal institution ExInferis broke up in 2011, it didn’t take long for three of the five members to find back together under the name Cosmogon. After some time the line-up was completed with the bassist of Babyoil. You might think that with three quarters of Cosmogon coming from the same background, they would not have had to change their name, but once you listen to the six tracks (plus intro and outro) of their first EP Chaos Magnum, you understand that this decision to start anew makes totally sense.

Gone are the days of cerebral death metal. With only one guitarist, Angelo, in their line-up (the second one having gone new paths with the more post rock oriented band Soleil Noir), the sound of Cosmogon is more straightforward, coming from the deepest pits of their guts. The drums and bass provide a tight and pounding rhythm section that builds the perfect foundation for the music. This is complemented by the raw vocals by Fab who has made himself quite the reputation of the wild frontman over the years.

The intro and outro are instrumentals that are a nice way to get into and out of the EP, but their main reason of existence might very well be to pad the record over half an hour. The first regular track Angry Tank shows Cosmogon from their vilest side. It’s the only song under three minutes, and it makes sense. This short eruption is very direct, comes straight to the point and even surprises with a grindcore break towards its end. The remaining five songs are all more or less five minutes long, and it is here where the quartet finally unveils its true magic. The opening riff of Cosmospeedflush for instance displays the band’s love for stoner rock, combined with a fierce death thrash attitude that I find myself tempted to label their musical orientation as stoner death metal. With a lesser band, this might risk becoming a tedious affair, but Cosmogon comes with four experienced musicians that know how to keep the sense of dynamics flowing, switching elaborately between tempos, unafraid to groove like hell the one moment before flowing seamlessly into a furious blast attack. What I especially like on Chaos Magnum is Angelo’s varied guitar playing. Without ever even trying to sound progressive, his technique is strong enough to surprise even the most hardened listener with unexpected sounds. At times he even manages to conjure the psychedelic insanity of early Voivod. Thhhooorrrsssgggooorrrp has a really weird title, an apparently long back story, and otherwise another fine example of the crazy sound of Cosmogon. Another stand-out track is M Point Nix, where the band is emulating the blissful retro sound of Eighties German thrash metal la Tankard and Kreator. There is also a lot of catchiness hidden beneath the grime of Re-Animalation, and the last regular track Black Galactic Blast is quite the complex track within the framework of this EP.

Nowadays there are more and more extreme progressive metal bands whose unbelievable skills are something to admire, but once in a while it is just as pleasant, and maybe even more, to listen to a more direct approach. Cosmogon have been influenced by the early Gothenburg sound of death metal, especially Entombed, but also by stoner metal bands like Mastodon, without being strangers to the early days of heavy metal, and thus have come up with a great sound and really good songwriting that make Chaos Magnum a definite metal highlight of the year 2014. Let’s hope that these death metal veterans have a long future ahead of them.

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