Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Alex Poole is behind everything we hear as far as Chaos Moon are concerned. The project was around between 2004 and 2011 releasing various split’s EP’s a compilation and a couple of albums and then was put on ice. Poole was far from inactive since then joining Krieg, Lithotome and Esoterica (US). Although I have not heard the earlier stuff by Chaos Moon I certainly knew the other bands he is involved with and was interested to hear how he got on with this solo project and approached Resurrection Extract’s hours-worth of music wondering just what it was going to unveil.
Cold shimmering guitar lines drift along with the first instrumental opener and you are left somewhat tranquilly in their post-rock etched grip waiting for an explosion. ‘Bloodfall’ lands splattering you with gnarly yells and a multi layered and hypnotic weave. There’s a lot of melody behind it and an almost psychedelic intensity with big burgeoning riffs overriding amidst the gravid yells from the vocals. This is pretty much the modus operandi of the whole album. It does take you on a journey but if you don’t pay close attention the mesmerising tones pretty much pass by and it’s easy to drift off with the music and lose yourself in its twists and turns. There is no denying that this is black metal and at its most ferocious points it is overpowering, a lot of the progressive structures turn very insular and it has an almost thousand yard (shoe) gaze to it, threatening to turn into ambience and indeed doing so fragmentally but always returning to unhinged bursts of ferocity.
It’s a very dense and at times obtuse place to find yourself in and it does take you on a trip beyond the senses but only after you really settle in after a few plays and allow it to. This is not an immediate album at all. In fact it is one of those that has taken me quite a few plays before I was ready to try and sit down and turn it into something resembling a cohesive review. Although there are many nuances of sound that fit in with all Pooles other projects having him with complete creative control does no harm and the fretwork at its most delicate spreads fronds and infects perfectly. It’s left to a feral rasp quite often coming at the start of a track along with a welter of drum abuse to snap you back into life after you have found yourself in a musical drugged up nod but at times one track flows into another giving you plenty of time to completely go into yourself along with the music.
‘Dreams Scattered Over An Infinite Mirror’ is the perfect sort of poetic title to go with the music. It feels timeless and endless and with some of the numbers having a far reaching time of between 8-10 minutes and the whole album passing as an edifying and limitless miasma it’s all the more epic for it. For once it kind of necessitates a more compact review from this writer as going into each intricate touch of it and feeling it conveys would be doing it a disservice, besides I am ready to float off with it before the next moment of brutality pulls me back into the cold grim world that is life.
This is an album to explore, digest and ultimately treasure.
(8/10 Pete Woods)