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Chthonic Invocations

Greece Country of Origin: Greece

1. Whispers From The Beyond
2. Behold The Dark
3. The Void
4. Funeral Pyre
5. The Epitaph Of The Dead
6. The Covenant Of Old
7. Mistress Of The Night (The Gathering Begins)
8. The Calling Of The Father

Review by Michael on May 29, 2024.

It is really amazing how innovative, un-innovative and regressive the Greek black metal scene sometimes is. I mean, just check the latest albums by Varathron or this one, namely Chthonic Invocations by Funeral Storm. This has become their second full-length album after the very good Arcane Mysteries and what do I have to say? Well, not too much has changed here in comparison to its predecessor.

Kicking off with a spooky and sinister operetta-like intro, the guys don't hesitate too long to show us where the Hellenic hammer hangs. And this hammer is rooted a very long time ago in the past when bands like Rotting Christ or Varathron (Vocalist Stefan Necroabyssious is involved in both bands by the way) just had released their first albums.
This all sounds very anachronistic, only the production is more powerful than the legendary outputs of the early 90s. In some parts the musical structure is kept very simple but then all of a sudden, you find some really epic and majestic parts in the songs that are highly symphonic. But if you know “Thy Mighty Contract” and co you will probably know what I mean. But let's check some songs more in detail: 'The Covenant Of Old' (which deals with some Lovecraftian stuff) is just simply a Rotting Christ worship. I mean, just listen to the first riffs and you will clearly recognize that they “borrowed” them from their countrymen. So I guess that the title also might be a reference to their black metal past. So the biggest differences to these reference works are probably Stefans vocals which sound very aggressive and full of anger. Sometimes he growls, sometimes he tries to sing and sometimes he speaks more than anything else which always gives the songs a very special touch. Especially in 'Funeral Pyre' which is one of the most diverse songs on the album he proves these skills. 'The Epitaph Of The Dead' sounds rawer than the rest of the songs; I don't know if they produced the song a little bit differently than the rest but also the tempo and aggressiveness is higher than in the rest of the songs. There's more full-speed passages and the vocals tend even more to death metal in some parts. And finally the album closes with an overlong acoustic song which I personally don't consider as really necessary. I mean, this is an atmospheric one but with almost 5 minutes where nothing exciting really happens it's my opinion that they could have at least shortened this one a little bit. But this is also the one huge point of criticism I have for Chthonic Invocations.

Apart from this the Greeks have created a nice memory of what was once (and coming back to my introduction, will always be). Which is ironic that Rotting Christ has chosen a completely different way and I guess will never return to this style of black metal.

Rating: 8.3 out of 10 Cthulhus