AlbumsNovember 29, 20115,825 views

Bal-Sagoth The Chthonic Chronicles

The Chthonic Chronicles
01. The Sixth Adulation Of His Chthoic Majesty 02. Invocations Beyond The Outer-World Night 03. Six Score And Ten Oblations To A Malefic Avatar 04. The Obsidian Crown Unbound 05. The Fallen Kingdoms Of The Abyssal Plain 06. Shackled To The Trilliton Of Kutulu 07. The Hammer Of The Emperor 08. Unfettinger The Hoary Sentinel Of Karnak 09. To Storm The Cyclopean Gates Of Byzantium 10. Arcana Antediluvia 11. Beneath The Crimson Vaules Of Cydonia 12. Return To Hatheg-Kla
2006 Candlelight Records
Our score 5

by Cory

Let me begin by saying that I have never in my entire life laughed out loud more times at a single non-comedy album than I have at Bal-Sagoth's The Chthonic Chronicles. If you're ever looking for a good example to point out to a friend just how silly black metal is, Chthonic Chronicles is the perfect point of reference. This disc is a solid hour of the most theatrically absurd Lovecraftian black metal I've ever heard in my life. The first track, "The Six Adulation Of His Chthonic Majesty," sounds like Glenn Danzig hired Mushroomhead to work with him on Black Aria III; and it just gets better (a.k.a. sillier) from there. Each track contains more than a little bit of ridiculous spoken word that sets the tone quite well for the unique brand of symphonic black metal that Bal-Sagoth have championed for over a decade. It's fast, catchy and even a little fun but I can't believe that anyone could possibly take this seriously. Additionally, while these guys can definitely write a decent song, most of their solos and leads are downright laughable. A perfect example of this in a short period of time lies in the closing solo of "Invocations Beyond The Outer-World Night" and the intro lead on "Six Score and Ten Oblations to a Malefic Avatar." I honestly just chuckled a little bit while typing the names of these songs. I suppose it seems like I'm being unfair and that many of these descriptions could describe most black metal bands, but these guys really do take the cake in pretty much every category except that they thankfully don't seem to wear corpsepaint. Conversely, all their seemingly ludicrous qualities do in some ways make them a quintessential black metal band. On this, their sixth (and supposedly final) album, Bal-Sagoth definitely demonstrate why they have amassed such a loyal horde of followers and I'm hard pressed to find many specifics to complain about musically besides those I've already noted and perhaps the Yanni/Smooth Jazz-esque segment of "The Hammer of the Emperor." I just have an incredibly hard time getting into something like this, the way a black metal fan might react to a youth crew hardcore record no doubt. Bottom Line: If you've actually ever used words like "true" and "kvlt" in a serious context, this album is definitely for you. This is the most magnificently over-the-top fantasy-black-battle metal I've ever encountered. Armed with more imagination than most of their contemporaries and a truly evil Casiotone, Bal-Sagoth have crafted one of the most entertaining albums of the year. It probably won't find it's way into my steady rotation but I'll definitely keep it around for as an illustrative tool and an occassional laugh.


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solaceinviolence_ 8/4/2006 12:22:59 PM

first post. black metal is gay. *hides behind tree in dark forest with sword*

anonymous 8/4/2006 1:09:09 PM

Bottom line: you're an idiot. I've said it before and I'll say it again: people who don't understand music shouldn't feel qualified to comment on it. Bal-Sagoth is not "a quintessential black metal band." That's like saying Taking Back Sunday are true old school hardcore. They are a gay power metal band masquerading as bm. Try out Ulver's "Natten's Madrigal" for true black metal; I'm sure you won't be able to handle it but you should try. Again, you are an idiot.

HB_Dad_ 8/4/2006 2:04:39 PM

"Ball-Sackith"? :-)

scandy_ 8/4/2006 3:56:02 PM

"Try out Ulver's "Natten's Madrigal" for true black metal; I'm sure you won't be able to handle it but you should try." and then are you going to challenge cory to a game of magic too?

anonymous 8/4/2006 6:25:09 PM

Nah, I'd rather drink wine coolers, comb my hair across my forehead and argue about how JFAC sucks.

thereapersson_ 8/4/2006 6:45:10 PM

LOL @ this Man, SwampLord would be pissed if he read this

RotteninAZ_ 8/4/2006 6:54:07 PM

I can't help but think of saggy balls looking at that band name...

todayithaw_ 8/4/2006 7:57:20 PM

""Ball-Sackith"? :-)" correction: Ball-Saggeth.

yousuck_ 8/4/2006 9:22:14 PM

bottom line is theres a mistake in the editing. chck the last line of the botom line.

bbbbb_ 8/4/2006 10:28:30 PM

Bob-Saggeth??? LAWL!!!1

soulseekisdown_ 8/4/2006 10:41:12 PM

"It's fast, catchy and even a little fun but I can't believe that anyone could possibly take this seriously." so this means you give it a 5/10, what the f*ck? Clearly their music is not super serious, your review is generally positive though. This gets at least a 7/10. I would give it a 9/10, but i love this band.

Seth Putnam_ 8/4/2006 11:32:28 PM

Still better than 90% of the gayry jocked on this site.

Steve_ 8/5/2006 6:03:42 AM

This album is good and production is excellent, not power metal at all, its really produced black metal like cradle of filth, but a little cheesy with their intros, they try to make it too epic, but its definitly worth checking out!!!

wizardsbeard_ 8/5/2006 7:39:30 PM

Man, do I love HP Lovecraft.

svantovit_ 8/7/2006 11:33:35 AM

this is not black metal, please do not call it black metal. please do not call cradle of filth black metal

jillian mcfadden mikkelso_ 8/7/2006 4:11:11 PM

i dont understand how you concede all these points, ie. "its entertaining", "im pressed to find many specifics to complain about musically", but end up giving it a five simpky because you think its "silly". you're undermining your own opinion.

ckk_ 8/10/2006 3:59:13 AM

It is alrihgt but def not as good as the new 3 doors down

Matt_ 9/19/2006 10:27:57 PM

This Bal-Sagoth album really isn't that great. A few of their earlier ones are pretty neat. I'm partial to "The Power Cosmic" though I admit their one trick had grown pretty old by that point. But anyway, this is NOT black metal. Nor is Cradle of Filth. And "Nattens Madrigal" is good, but is an overproduced tribute project - hardly a quintessential black metal album.