Carpathian Forest - Through Chasm, Caves And Titan Woods
Avantgarde Music
Black Metal
5 songs (18:36)
Release year: 1995
Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

All too often EP releases in the Black Metal world are ignored by people who concentrate only on the full-lengths, and little gems like this offering from infamous Norwegians Carpathian Forest prove how silly that is. Recorded in two sessions, this shows both the Thrashy and more atmospheric versions of the band, with songs like Carpathian Forest and The Pale Mist Hovers Towards The Nightly Shore having solos and before-their-time Punk attitude.

It’s the two atmospheric tracks that many describe as the highlight here, and undeniably The Eclipse/The Raven, with its acoustic strumming and ambience, with whispered vocals taken from the Edgar Allen Poe tale, is an effectively spooky piece, not to take away at all from the rather cool Hellhammer-esque When Thousand Moons Have Circled. Closing track Journey Through The Cold Moors Of Svarttjern is notably more low-fi, driven by the keyboard melodies and Nattefrost’s miserable screams, Depressive Black Metal before it became a genre.

At the time, the band consisted of just Nattefrost and Nordavind, with session bass and drums. Nordavind would leave the band in 2000, but there’s definitely some dark magic being cooked up here between the duo. The backing synths especially help to give this a real ‘true’ feel without ever it becoming dull or repetitive, and for mid-nineties Black Metal it’s skilful enough. The lyrics are surprisingly good too, very mystic and atmospheric, fitting in well with the cover art. Through Chasm... stands out from the other releases of the era due to the rather fantastic production, which although is far from clean, has enough depth to make guitars and drums stand out well.

The more times I listen to this EP, the more I like it. Even though the tracks are so different they fit together well, and whilst it could have been longer, at just under twenty minutes this will tax few ears. Obviously this could be longer, but it’s a slice of an era, a taste of a time before Carpathian Forest brought the silliness into their sound, and whilst I personally like the band’s later style, listening to this it’s not hard to see why some prefer this earlier direction. Fans of Norwegian Black Metal are probably well aware of Carpathian Forest, but this EP is definitely worth an investigation if you’ve missed it.

Killing Songs :
The Pale Mist Hovers Towards The Nightly Shore, The Eclipse/The Raven, When Thousand Moons Have Circled
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Carpathian Forest that we have reviewed:
Carpathian Forest - Morbid Fascination Of Death reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Carpathian Forest - Strange Old Brew reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Carpathian Forest - Black Shining Leather reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
Carpathian Forest - Defending The Throne Of Evil reviewed by Crims and quoted 76 / 100
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