Chronicle are a young Danish four piece, whose debut album “Primal Fear” appears to have slipped under my radar since its release in 2015. Having now investigated, it seems that I’ve missed out on some technical yet catchy melodic death metal, with nods to classic metal in the solo work.
Their second album here, “Demonology” is introduced by George C Scott’s famous “I Believe” speech from Exorcist III, before first track proper “They Have Returned” introduces us to some of the memorable riffs that pepper this album. Later on, “RRD” (no idea what it stands for!) has one of those delightfully jagged At The Gates type riffs, whilst the tail end of the song boasts a lead riff that’s almost Celtic in nature, before a key change takes us back to the main riff. There’s a lot of optimistic sounding major-key action going on throughout the album, like a happier less progressive Death.
If one had to select a standout track from the album, it would probably be “Living Hellscape” (which apparently inspired the cover art), where a deftly picked classical guitar intro gives way to one of the more memorable riffs on the album, before a Decapitated-esque verse riff kicks in. Chronicle infrequently change gears on us, with following track “Taxidermic Divinity” a breakneck rhythm-shifting thrasher that could have comfortably sat on an early album from The Haunted.
Most of the songs on “Demonology” sit in the 5-6 minute bracket. There are plenty of changes to keep the listener interested as you’d expect from a band of this calibre, but nothing is done to excess and these songs are gloriously devoid of the breakdowns and lazy tropes that have marred a slew of albums in recent years. There are certainly moments where Chronicle dip their toes into the same flamboyant waters that Children Of Bodom swam in for many years, but they do so without self-indulgent showboating; everything that they deliver serves the song.
All in all, a competent and memorable album of modern technical melodeath from a solid band.