Tetragon - Official Website

Chapter II

Finland Country of Origin: Finland

Chapter II
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: March 6th, 2017
Label: Independent
Genre: Progressive, Thrash
1. Until The Ravens Fall
2. Distant Sirens
3. Downfall
4. Soil Of Tears
5. Place In Afterlife
6. Edges

Review by Greg on March 23, 2024.

Following the interesting and sometimes surprising Chapter One EP, their comeback after a long absence, Tetragon finally put all their efforts into a full-length, 2017's Chapter II. Okay, why the Two in the title had to be written in Roman numerals this time? I can't possibly describe how much that irked me. Now I'm curious for a possible third chapter, and especially about the format that will use... jokes aside, the band had formerly completed another metamorphosis, into a vaguely progressive, modernish thrash outfit that also seemed to have a certain fondness for Coroner's later material, and now had to face the task of further capitalizing on a sound that intrigued me, but needed some little bits of polishing. Let's dive into it.

Starting with a fact, Chapter II's longest song is 5 seconds longer than Chapter One's shortest, so I was fairly confident that they had found a way to avoid the sometimes excessive long-windedness of the EP, even if the six tracks here are by no means easy stuff. The Coroner influence is still here, though, and I really can't put into words how glad I am that somebody finally, and successfully, reprised the Swiss masters' sound. 'Downfall' especially sounds taken straight from a hypothetical middle album between Mental Vortex and Grin, complete with vaguely industrial lashes and groovy riffs occasionally in backbeat, even if the vocals set it apart, with the usual clean chorus that has become a slightly overused, yet successful, feature of the band's new sound. The preceding 'Until the Ravens Fall' (great title) and 'Distant Sirens' are no slouches either, rounding off an incredible first half. I especially enjoyed the thrash segments which, as rare as they are, hit with double the strength when given the chance to. I'm sometimes reminded of one of my favourite new bands in the technical/progressive thrash field, the Serbians Quasarborn, and even Toni Rajamäki's vocals are in a similar league of Luka Matković's, cycling between a James Hetfield-like middle register, frequent growls and a clean voice, slightly less whiny.

In any case, Chapter II doesn't cease to amaze the listener here. 'Soil of Tears' is another highlight, if only for the fact that it sounds like the spiritual successor to 'Hollow Inside', which was Chapter One's absolute best song. Its half-ballad, half-metal approach might be the kind of compositions that Tetragon are the best at, in this incarnation. A grandiose chorus and a glorious lead then polish up this amazing track, to top it off. Only the last two songs feel a bit behind their peers, but the always fantastic leadwork, especially in the closer's long instrumental section, as well as the ever-present Coroner influence (the synths and spoken samples, but also the continuous mixture of tempos, in 'Place in Afterlife' and the staccato riff at 3:30 of 'Edges' are the most illustrious examples), still make them worth several spins, at the very least.

After having seen several fairly improbable reunions over the last years, it's refreshing to see that, every now and then, there's also somebody who manages to write their absolute masterpiece so late in their career. Chapter II is unequivocally an interesting listen, if only to hear how the old guards can sometimes take the better part out of modernity and embed it into their sound with relative ease. They have been silent once again since, but apparently a third chapter is really in the works... you can bet your sweet ass I'll be in the front row this time.

Rating: 8.3 out of 10