Chernaa - Empyrean Fire | Album Review

Combining the raw chaotic energy of Black Metal and the melodic nature of Post-Metal may not be an obvious combination, but there are many bands that use this as a basis for some hauntingly powerful music. The Prague based Chernaa have just dropped their debut album Empyrean Fire, but it comes with the control and restraint of a later album.

The expectant sea of fire in buzzsaw-like guitars married to blast beats that has that eerie sense of melody to it none-the-less is almost instant. Whilst the rasped vocal styles compliment the chaos in an odd music of primal and perfect. But it isn't until later songs that the album starts to really define itself. Up until the fourth track, 'As I Succumbed', they stuck to a relatively tried and true Black Metal formula and it establishes a good tone for the album. Bizarrely 'As I Succumbed' breaks into a slow energy with clean vocals and slow melodic guitars which is almost reminiscent of Gojira's clean vocal tracks.

From here, all bets are off, they're ready to experiment. Black Metal has always lent itself to experimentation. Here, Chernaa, takes this as a raison d'etre. The following tracks are a weird mix of utter melody, haunting passages and underlying Black Metal. Think of a less cold Immortal if the melodic passages had that Post Metal guitar play. It almost changes the tone of the song. Going from tearing at you to the hopeful cry of a victim in the dark. It layers the songs into unexpected stories.

Empyrean Fire has the possibility for real staying power for those who like Extreme and Black Metal. Particularly as there are large sections of a more traditional Melodic Black Metal at play. Chernaa show a lot of potential within the last half of the album. These songs have a more distinct and unique style that if listeners are willing to endure their sounds will be rewarded. It's a ferocious fire and the stories are both dark, hopeful and atmospheric.

Score: 8/10

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