Published Nov 20, 2019The members of the new Calgary-based death metal project Third Chamber have delivered a powerful testament to their style's nearly inescapable staying power on their debut EP, Harvesting Our Decay. Featuring members of other Alberta-based extreme metal bands like Culled, False Flag and We Found the Body, Third Chamber feel like they've truly captured a stunning shot of the zest of the underground suggested by their wide experience.
Fundamentally, they're brutal. Third Chamber mostly deal in devastatingly thick intensity; they wheel out plenty of furious riffing and menacing blast beat segments alongside one another, and they do not ever dial anything back. Consistently, they perform with an utterly inescapable energy — every note feels like it's trembling with fury, so imagine what the combined effect of five tracks of that mayhem feels like. The result of the band's maniacally heavy performance feels suffocating, like the musicians are demanding that listeners pay attention to what they've got to offer.
The group's lyrics share anger over the direction of social and political life in the 21st century, which are definitely immediately close concerns for many. Vocalist Shane Hawco performs with an accessible intensity — the vocal work is definitely navigable if you're familiar with this style already. Rather than dialling into the experiential aspect of the music, the band's style seems designed to make you listen to what Hawco is saying and feel the thematically supporting, crushing death metal intensity.
Standout moments (and there are plenty) where the band's apparent vision really comes together include the end of their song "Choke," when they deliver the refrain "Can you not plainly see beyond what they want you to see?" As that repeats, the music consistently builds in intensity, and the moment reveals deep emotional resonance.
Other moments reveal that emotional concern too — the band aren't just seeing how fast they can play, although Third Chamber's members are clearly commandingly proficient at that part of their craft too. Slower, more progressive-feeling segments mark points like the end of their opening track "Parasitic Communion," which violently denounces the perceived corruption in plenty of organized religion.
Overall, the message that Third Chamber offer feels inextricable from their overall music, although the core extends beyond an individual lyric. With their gruelling energy and monstrously thick music, this feels like an anthem of fighting through a dangerous trash-filled "sea" of modernity. They don't have to forge some entirely new style to make a powerful statement. Their bold, energetic intensity ensures that they sound like they won't be silenced. (Independent)