Chaînes Fantôme, Forbidden Rituals for the Destruction of Purity Pt II, United States, Ancestral Flame Productions, AFP-014 limited edition cassette (2019)
Alarmed perhaps that not enough people would end up drained of all their life-force by the first cassette “Forbidden Rituals for the Destruction of Purity” – what do you expect with a running time of less than 40 minutes? – the man behind the publicity-shy US raw BM horde Chaînes Fantôme, Diabhal Gormbhrúite, brought forth (in a matter of months after the debut) that cassette’s sequel of the same name with much the same intentions, albeit musically sharper and more streamlined, and less befuddled by the steaming sulphurous fumes and the babbling demonic dementia of the first release that (while malevolent enough) might have had the effect of scaring away too many potential victims for his predatory parasitic psychic vampiric needs. Accordingly the roaring guitar noise music on this second release is much clearer and the demonic babble is pushed farther back into the murky shadows – though if you turn the sound up loudly enough, you’ll notice the raspy gabbling vocals are a constant presence throughout the recording.
As on the first recording, the nine tracks are labelled, using Latin numbering, from DCLIV to DCXLVI (654 to 646), following on from the first cassette which has 11 tracks numbered DCLXVI to DCLV (666 to 655). There’s not much point trying to follow different tracks though: the music is short enough that it can be heard in one sitting, to best appreciate the flow and the energy behind it and the variety of musical influences present as well. While there’s a strong emphasis on melodies and riffing in most tracks, to the point where they even go all head-banging groovy in a couple of early tracks, there is also a dark and oppressive machine-like, even industrial ambient feel across the album – due large in part to the relentless machine rhythms across several tracks and the combination of the raw guitar noise, the lo-fi production which itself is a significant instrument in its own right, and the harsh vocal treatments which turn the recording into as much a noise ambient recording as it is raw black metal..
This music is definitely not for the weak of heart, the sensitive of ear and the squeamish of stomach though such targets are more appropriate for Diabhal Gormbhrúite’s vampiric appetites than are the people who would actually listen to such music. I guess DG will have to make another recording – and another – before he finally finds the victims he needs to keep going!