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Chrome Waves / Suicide Forest: Split Review

CHROME WAVES debuted in 2012 with an EP, since then much has happened with the band including a hiatus until the project was dusted off again in 2018 by guitarist Jeff Wilson. The atmospheric black metal trio's put together their first material since their debut featured current/former members of The Atlas Moth, Wolvhammer, Twilight, Nachtmystium, The Gates of Slumber, etc.

Since their reformation, the band has partnered with vocalist James Benson (Amiensus), and the band has been hard at work and saw the release of their debut LP, A Grief Observed. This was soon followed by a compilation titled, The Cold Light Of Despair, which contained several new songs alongside covers of the likes of Nirvana, Slowdive, and Nick Cave.

From there, in 2019 Chrome Waves released a split with experimental workhorses, Gridfailure, at the same time they were also crafting their second full-length, Where We Live. During this time, the band tragically lost founding drummer Bob Fouts (ex-The Gates of Slumber, ex-Nachtmystium), who was succeeded by Dustin Boltjes (Sacred Leather, ex-Skeletonwitch).

Chrome Waves' sound has been described as "post-black etherealness" and that descriptor is pretty much bang on the money, Chrome Waves continue to evolve their sound on each release, and on this split, they take advantage of their will to blend elements of funeral doom, death metal, and ambient noise together. Their half of the record drips with atmosphere and a haunting uneasiness.

The bleakest of soundscapes is shattered with furious black metal blasts that intertwine to unfurl a torrent of ambiance and metal. The sound has the ability to pull a wide range of emotions from the listener, depending on the mood you are in when you hit play. Chrome Waves' two tracks serve as both a testament and a teaser of their work, showcasing both their grounded style and their future aspirations.

SUICIDE FOREST based out of Tuscon, Arizona are the perfect partner for Chrome Waves and this split EP. Taking things even further into the realm of dark melodic metal and "melancholic lo-fi black metal". The band were founded by A. Kruger in 2016 and has been likened to Abyssic Hate, Strid, and Leviathan; with clear draws from influences such as Dimmu Borgir, early Emperor, and Limbonic Art.

Their half of the EP is shrouded in funeral doom vibes laced together with the over encompassing black metal themes of the record. Sounds of desperation, hopelessness, and frozen, bleak landscapes are all conjured by their expert musicianship, exactly what you'd want from a record such as this.

As with their counterparts, Suicide Forest's two tracks serve as an excellent trailer for their body of work which is well worth a listen if any of the aforementioned bands take your fancy.

Rating 8/10

This split EP is out now via Disorder Recordings and can be found here