As we all know extremely well, the metal scene is crowded with sound-alikes and wanna-be’s at every turn, each aping the same 5 or 6 “essential” band’s sounds until everyone loses a distinctive sound and just forms a formless grey blob of audio. Chhinnamasta’s release “Varja-Sarpa” does nothing to stop this trend unfortunately, delivering what ultimately ends up being unsatisfying ritualistic black metal draped in some regional trappings. This EP bookends with the atmosphere building instrumental tracks “Nexion I: Ritual of Illumination And Consumption” and “Nexion II: Reawakening Primeval”, which is the only place on this release where the traditional instruments make their appearance, which is disappointing. “In Search of Primal Light,” which is where the black metal elements of Chhinnamasta show up, doesn’t make any attempts to stand out sonically from the rest of the black clad legion, instead content to riff around doing their best at achieving a Hellenic tone that misses the mark. I’m interested to see what Chinnamasta produce in the future, hopefully with a focus on achieving their own distinct sound, as “Vajra-Sarpa” shows great promise. I think they just need to work on finding their voice and refining their sound a bit.
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