New Band of the Week: Chiasmata

The thrilling sound of Chiasmata walks the tightrope between atmospheric and cinematic metal and the complexity of modern technical metal, and the result is pretty special.

The Manchester band began when bassist and vocalist Zoe Gale and guitarist Alex Lescionok began honing what Zoe describes to us as “unknown music with no tech knowledge.” They soon added a guitarist and drummer in Cailum Finnegan and Cam Booth, which set the scene for honing a sound that Zoe describes to us as “progressive, conceptual and cathartic.”

On the band’s formation, Zoe told us: “Alex and I have been best friends for a long time, so that relationship was already pretty cemented. Before Chiasmata, he was associated with the Slam/Death metal scene, and I’d dabbled in a band that, whilst it ignited a flame within me, it just didn’t feel like what I was looking for.

“I can still remember being shown Periphery’s 22 Faces and it all just clicked. That. That was what I wanted to do. This was the scene I was going to infiltrate. For us all, music has always been something we’ve always done; it’s just drawn us in from a young age, and it’s because of music we’ve all found each other, and life just wouldn’t be the same without the faces and places we’ve met through it.”

Chiasmata

We first discovered the band around the release of their latest track Absolution in December. It offers an intriguing insight into the band’s uniquely diverse sound, themes and musicality, on which they say: “As much of a departure as it is familiar ground, this track introduces several compositional signatures that trace the cracks of this body of work as a whole. This track is as much of a statement of the band’s identity as it is foreboding a more direct manifestation of the struggles that underpin it, providing a pillar of stability among the turbulence both musically and conceptually.”

Absolution opens up with atmospheric synth sounds with guitar slowly creeping in then stabbing synth sounds and a light guitar lick under Zoe’s laid-back vocals. The guitars intensify with low-tuned stabs as the track builds up and suddenly Zoe’s vocals explode into a huge cry of “Strangers in the dark, Pages pulled apart, Beating for reaction, retraction, Beatings in the dark, Strangers pulled apart, Praying for redemption, repentance.”

That drops into eerie whispered vocals, which speed up over an increasingly heavy instrumental backdrop then mellows out once more before stabby guitars build-up to another huge chorus. That’s followed by a funky darting guitar riff over high-pitched synth sounds before being joined by Zoe’s delicious vocals. That leads into high-pitched wails that drop into another chorus supported by a blitz of wild instrumentals. Check out this massive track a listen in the video below:

On the track, Zoe told us: “The reception has been absolutely mind-blowing! Far beyond what we could have expected, the number of people that the track has reached greatly exceeds our previous releases and the response has been very encouraging – it seems we’re doing something right!

“For anyone that hasn’t heard it, expect some of the things we’ve all come to love about the technical and progressive metal scenes in the UK; a dynamic approach to songwriting, with interesting rhythmic ideas as well as atmospheric soundscapes for them to weave through! We also don’t shy away from an infectious vocal hook where possible, tying everything together into what we feel is a strong statement about what we bring to the table!”

And for more of a taste of what the band offer, check out the epic Coalesce from their debut self-titled, half-hour-long four-track debut EP in 2018 below:

And there’s plenty more where that came from, with the band set to unleash a new record on us sometime during 2020. We couldn’t get Zoe to spill all the beans, but she did tell us: “We’ll be announcing a date in due course, but we are in the home stretch and couldn’t be prouder of what we have produced. This new release is quite stylistically eclectic, which will hopefully be particularly interesting to hear in light of Absolution, which is the second song released from it!

Haustorium was released in January 2019, which was the first single of the release. A large element of what we do is continuity; there are plenty of ideas established in Absolution which permeate several tracks in different and exciting ways.”

Chiasmata draw strong musical influences from bands across the progressive spectrum over the last couple of decades, including the likes of The Contortionist, Karnivool and Tesseract.

And on their musical influences, Zoe explains: “Exactly as we described Absolution, we draw upon a wide spectrum of influences that allow our songs to burst with stylistic experimentation. Haustorium and Absolution are two contrasting pieces of work and yet emphasises our use of conceptual songwriting, boasts vocal hooks and merge effortlessly into one another!”

And on the topic of songwriting, she adds: “As an individual, Chiasmata has been an incredibly cathartic release for me through not only lyric writing, but a space to be free to express myself on stage as carefree and theatrical as possible.

“A large part of the motivation behind what we write is the catharsis of personal conflict and the empowerment that comes with it. It’s a passion of ours, something we have each enjoyed for many years, and as such serves as the outlet we’ve always felt we needed.

Expect to hear much from Chiasmata soon, with their new record pending for some time during 2020, a year that Zoe describes as: “Working towards delivering the promise we feel we’ve been making over the past year. We like to wear our hearts on our sleeves, which has been a large part of the connections that we’ve made since our inception. We feel very privileged to be a part of such a supportive and thriving scene, something we hope to honour with our efforts throughout this year!”

You can follow Chiasmata on Facebook and Instagram, and check out their music on Spotify, Bandcamp and YouTube.

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