Chastisement
Alleviation of Pain    
 ~reviewed by Eric Rasmussen

Chastisement plays straight forward Swedish melodic death metal; not particularly in any original fashion, but with enough conviction and energy to make some neat songs (particularly the instrumental, ďAnother PaceĒ). Yet, one canít help but notice that Chastisementís image is a bit... well, passive. I mean, the bandís name is ďChastisement.Ē The album title, Alleviation of Pain.

One gets the sense that the group is afraid to be too direct about anything. Even the song lyrics include lines like ďannihilation of mankind will occur.Ē Thatís great, but shouldnít the band help bring it about? Are they not metal enough to be openly aggressive? So... yeah. I canít seem to reconcile the obvious differences between the bandís chosen style of aggressive music and their blatantly passive name/lyrics. While the music is busy kicking my ass, the band is calmly informing me that listening side effects may, to their heartfelt sorrow and against their best wishes, incur mild discomfort.

But speaking of the music, it is pretty good as far as straight forward Swedish death metal goes. Itís got some neat riffs, a growly guy who mercifully takes a break on not one, but three -three!- instrumentals, and a standard drum/bass rhythm section. I think Chastisement ranks somewhere just below The Duskfall, which is somewhere below Dark Tranquillity, At the Gates, and Soilwork, but still neater than current In Flames, or (random NWOSDM band like Enter My Scythe, or that one with the name I canít remember).

However, not all is apathetic or unspectacular in Chastisement land.  The band shows a heck of a lot of promise, and the songs are varied enough to make me think that, on future releases, the group will actually progress and make original music. This is a bigger deal than it may sound, because the average NWOSDM band simply repeats decade old music for the entirety of its pitiful career. Chastisement is fated for greener pastures, me thinks, and when the tide comes in weíll see that they havenít been laying their eggs in a single basket. Which is to say... um... I canít write sentences in improperly used cliches. In any case, give Chastisement a listen if you like new NWOSDM that doesnít suck.
 

Track List:
1. Another Pace
  2. Deconstructional
  3. Soul Evasion
  4. The Journey
  5. Tsavo - The Land of Slaughter
  6. Time Zone Zero
  7. Disowned
  8. World Beyond
  9. Joie de Vivre
  10. Redeemer
  11. A New Dawn

Chastisement is:
Johan Klitkou - Vocals
Marcus Edvardsson - Guitars
Tommy Larsson - Guitars
Nicklas Linnes - Bass
Nils Fjellström - Drums

Chastisement - Official Site:
http://www.chastisement.com/

Rage of Achilles:
http://www.rageofachilles.com/

The End Records (US):
http://www.theendrecords.com/
 

07/13/04