Chiral - Night Sky - (8.5/10)
Published on September 6, 2015
Chiral is an Italian atmospheric black metal project, formed by Teo Chiral in late 2013. The project has been markedly busy in the two years since its formation, releasing a pair of demos, two splits and two singles, and now the second full length album, Night Sky, is being independently released in September 2015 on CD and as a digital download. The band has claimed that Night Sky is “a voyage amongst light, emotions and introspection under the starlit night sky.” A bit of purple prose never hurt anyone, but it seems that Chiral hit the nail on the head with the description.
Night Sky features five tracks that total just a bit shy of an hour. Simply calling the album atmospheric black metal would do a grand injustice, as there is a lot going on that defies standard labeling. That being said, the base of the music is that nostalgic, drawn out, slow burning black metal with melodic trem riffs, fast paced percussion and virulent, raspy screams, but it branches off astronomically from there. The trem riffs exist at the back of the mix, allowing an assortment of stringed instruments and keys to take the forefront, but it’s there. With each track being long and winding, it allows for a lot of experimentation and derivation from the standard, but it never overextends itself.
Anyone familiar with Chiral’s previous work will, no doubt, be surprised at the drastic improvement in songwritign. Rather than hinting at grandiose atmospherics and trance inducing movements, Night Sky brings sweeping movements with full bodied strings mingling with acoustic guitar strumming, moments of folk-tinged American with hints of harmonica notes in the air, and layers of synths swathed in the background during strident black metal passages all the while flippant keyboard notes hint at some kind of far reaching light. Tendrils of lead guitar licks fade in and out, driven forth by the keyboard driven passages and laid back percussion.
It would seem that Chiral has finally settled into a sound that really works. It’s hard to describe, aside from mentioning the ease with which the passages flow together and the general immensity of what is all brought together. Full of sweeping atmospherics, introspective prog-laden acoustic passages, and mature keyboard notes, set to the tune of atmospheric black metal. It’s good to see Chiral settling in, hopefully for the long haul, as this is bound to get a lot of playtime as the temperatures begin to drop.