Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bloody Sign: Chaos Echoes (2010)


I discovered Bloody Sign by way of a list of the top 10 old-school death metal albums of 2010 over at Invisible Oranges. They were a French blackened death metal band begun in 1995, and Chaos Echoes is their third album.

They play a style that seems to be a blend of New York death metal (e.g. Incantation) and French hardcore-inflected black metal (e.g. Celeste). The drummer, in fact, played for Incantation. As in NYDM, the tempos change up often within a single song, or even within a single riff. As in French HC/BM (or blackcore, as I'm choosing to call it), the guitars often go into dissonant territory or simply make guitar noises for effect. The result is like Behemoth if they had a much broader sonic palette but less dominant technical skills. The vocals are less commanding than Nergal's, but in the same style.

The album starts with an intro, and ends on an outro (which is a backmasked version of the intro). Each instrument gets its due on its own solo track, as well as in the songs. The bass is very prominent, and becomes moreso during the guitar solos. The songs and many of the riffs are memorable, from the hard-driving "For the Unknown" to the epic "The Call". The only serious misstep is the ill-advised punk-style backup vocals on "Words of Death". "Tongues of Shadows" is the album standout: It's seriously frightening, with tempo and riff changes fitting together perfectly, and atmosphere provided not only by guitar noises, but by some clean singing that reminds me of those Islamic prayers.

The production is well worth mentioning as well. As I noted, you can hear the bass throughout the album. The drums also sound like drums, and the whole recording has a natural sound that's clear, but not over-polished.

The Verdict: This is a very interesting death metal release, and just one more piece of evidence that the French metal scene is on the verge of exploding. It's only too bad this band broke up. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.


  1. I do like the stuff I have heard from this band. I have not had a chance to pick up an album, but am impressed with their brand of death metal.

  2. This really hit the spot. Thanks for the post.