Category: Industrial / Metal
Blurb: Playing well upon the tropes of industrial/metal, this Baltimore band may have the chops to ascend to a higher level, with this EP hopefully being one of the early lower steps.
Somewhere between the blasphemous and malicious atmospheres of extreme metal and the cold mechanical brutality of industrial exists a band like Baltimore’s Chitin. Acerbic, acidic, and abrasive, Chitin delivers on acrid punch of industrial/metal in the irreverent spirit of such rabble rousers as BILE, with Void being just an example of the band’s sonic fury. Throughout the five tracks on this EP is a rawness of both subject matter and sound quality, the band’s demonic and horrific fancies explored in Lotek’s confrontational lyrics that at face value may sound like the ramblings of a serial killer, but in conjunction with the aggressively caustic guitars and simple but powerful rhythms make for a strangely enticing display of darkly perturbing intrigue. Such is especially the case on a track like “Burn,” the shrill vocal effects meshing well with the monotonous stomps of guitar, the simplicity of the synth passages only adding an eeriness that recalls the likes of BILE’s “In League.” Similarly, the ominous and primal undertones of “In the End” with its menacingly slow buildup and marching rhythm, the vocals resonating ghostly until the explosive chorus recalls some of the more devilish moments of early Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. This comparison is even more palpable on the almost bluesy “Dead In My Mind,” driven by a slowly mechanical beat atop fluid electronic bellowing, a steely guitar and Lotek’s disaffected vocal scowl evoking a gothic ballad that stands out even as the chorus erupts into a cacophonous affair, a discordant and howling guitar solo giving the track some added flair. Ultimately, Chitin plays well upon its influences, drawing on the tropes of blackened industrial/metal, which will certainly satisfy genre fans, though it also speaks to the band’s limitations. It’s difficult to listen to Void and not hear traces of those bands that Chitin clearly takes inspiration from, and while that’s not necessarily a failing, it does limit the appeal for repeated listens. Besides the fact that the low end seems inconsistently mixed so that Lux’s bass is not always as audible as one would hope, the less-than-professional production quality helps evoke a certain dissonant ambience that complements the subject matter, but conversely also diminishes the band’s musical potential. For a band that is making the rounds on the Baltimore live circuit and showcasing a sharpened sense of visual style and musical focus, Chitin still has a few steps to take in order to ascend to a higher playing field… but the band seems to have the chops and the drive to do so; Void may just be one of the early lower steps, so let’s hope Chitin can keep climbing from here.