Epoch Of Chirality – Nucleosynthesis
Release Date: 23/07/2021
Running Time: 48:48
Review by Dark Juan
Good afternoon from the hallowed lands of West Yorkshire, where pendulous skies abound, the moors brood and beguile you in their sparse and barren splendour, and where the Smellhounds are currently emitting scents that could conceivably be used for ethnic cleansing in some less salubrious regimes. Mrs. Dark Juan is currently sat across from me in the lounge, creating yet another warped objet d’art dragged from the blackest pits of her imagination whilst giggling her little head off at Joe Lycett telling stories about how he had to come downstairs while living with his parents when experiencing some tumescence after a saucy dream about Idris Elba. This scenario was indeed chortlesome.
Oh, how I laughed as I wondered what it would be like to have an erotic dream instead of the blood-soaked horrors that pass for my dreamworld. Especially as I woke this morning from dreaming of having slaughtered my way through an entire company of Russian Spetsnaz using nothing but my teeth and a combat knife. Their combat wrestling training didn’t count for anything much considering how easy it was to tear their arms off and beat them to death with the wet ends…
Such violent imagery reminds me of the slew of action movies that thrilled young Dark Juan in the Eighties – Commando, The Terminator, Predator, Cobra and the like as well as all the video nasties like Anthropophagous Beast and Cannibal Holocaust. These all shared one thing, and that was an epic soundtrack. Which, and this for once is a fucking bang tidy segue, leads us on to the music of Epoch Of Chirality, being a one-man musical project emanating from the somewhat fevered imagination of Mr. Richard How of the South-West of jolly old England.
This is EOC’s second release, after Richard’s debut EP which was entitled “Dawn Of Chirality” in 2020. As a quick aside, Chirality is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. The word chirality is derived from the Greek χειρ (kheir), “hand,” a familiar chiral object. Basically, it means a non-superimposable mirror image of an object. Now we have that bit of Wikipedia bothering out of the way, I can begin to describe “Nucleosynthesis”, this being the process that creates new atomic nuclei from pre-existing nucleons (protons and neutrons) and nuclei. Which is a rather fitting way to describe a second musical release then, “Dawn Of Chirality” being analogous to the Big Bang, and “Nucleosynthesis” being the creation of the Universe. Or at least Epoch Of Chirality’s universe, which operates in a kind of dark light, neon dripping Blade Runner-esque dystopian galaxy of electronic soundscapes merged with the cutting fury of heavy metal.
As regular readers of my terrible ramblings will know, I have a real soft spot for synthwave (be it Outrun, or Vapourwave (I REFUSE TO USE THE RUBBISH AMERICAN SPELLING!) or whatever) and two of my absolute favourites from this style of music are Master Boot Record (an Italian madman who identifies himself as an IBM 486 Central Processing Unit. Remember them? Oh, and he has an unhealthy obsession with ASCII) and Gunship (British, absolutely brilliant and now can be forgiven for their travesty of a former band, Fightstar, mainly because they have brought Tim fucking Capello back to the attention of a rapt audience, thankfully without the purple spandex). Both of which are big fucking boots to try and fill. Epoch Of Chirality leans more toward the cinematic soundscapes of MBR and also doesn’t employ any vocals, letting the music try to hold your interest all by itself, rather than following the electro-pop stylings and emotionally fraught singing of the worthy British combo.
Thankfully, EOC manages to stand proud with the music and is fresh and original sounding. Every song brings a different flavour and mood, ‘Maiden Voyage’ being particularly schizophrenic with 80’s tinkly bonk Bontempi keyboards meeting martial drumming, eastern sounding flurries on keys transforming into glockenspiel runs and then trumpets and gothic piano taking over with the occasional stab of electric guitar until it switches gear and tempo and turns into a rampaging metal beast. Album opener ‘Dawn Of Chirality’ beguiles with waves of soft, foamy keyboards building slowly into pure, full on metal riffing with coruscating waves of electronic sound beneath it as the drums build into a percussive, machine gun wall of sound and the oh so 80’s keyboard rises magnificently over it all and I’m just waiting for Airwolf to rise out of its secret volcano hangar dramatically through the caldera and shoot down shitloads of bad guys. ‘The Abyssal Fleet’ is pure cinema in musical form, being an Imperial march full of bombast, and easily conjuring the image of a grim and mighty fleet of battle-scarred starships slipping their moorings and travelling towards a warzone where the hellish power of their particle beam weapons and explosive gravitic lances will level the surface of an enemy planet in short and terrible order. ‘Undercity Rising’ has my imagination running riot with images of muties emerging from under Mega-City One with murder and mayhem on their minds, and only a thin line of Judges to meet them.
Every tune on the album evinces a feeling of big-screen theatrics from the age of neon-tinged dystopian nightmares. ‘Labyrinth’ could easily be the soundtrack to an epic car chase through a darkened, mirror universe Miami, scattering the shattered bodies of unwary pedestrians in the wake of speeding vehicles exchanging gunfire and grenades, while our muscle bound hero escapes all attempts on his life with witty one-liners and an assault rifle that miraculously never runs out of ammunition. Apart from the middle eight which makes it sound like you’re going to enter some kind of dark tunnel or dread fortress before the song returns to speed and chunky fucking riffing and the full-on car chase aesthetic. The last tune, ‘Paradox’, brings back memories of the more esoteric moments of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark in the intro and is so bright, shiny and Tron-like it made me weep tears of joy for a childhood lost to Satan worship, extremely perverse sexual encounters and absinthe, before turning into the most metal song on the album. There is also a magnificent guitar solo that also made me become highly excited and spasmodically jerk around the lounge and has raised the ire of at least two Smellhounds and Mrs. Dark Juan. It is a most fitting climax to an album that is utterly perfect for hitting a motorway at 3am with 200 miles to cover. You too can experience the feeling that you are fleeing hordes of heavily armed bastards in shiny black Jaguars on your work trip to Basingstoke simply by popping Epoch Of Chirality in the CD player and letting your imagination run riot.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Epoch Of Chirality and Ever-Metal will not accept any legal liability for the fact you’ll probably hit 130 mph on the M1 in your Vauxhall Corsa just outside of Luton and will have to explain to Hertfordshire Police that the music made you do it, and that there isn’t in fact a horde of heavily armed bastards racing after you in shiny black Jaguars intent on letting your brains escape through your nose via the medium of 9mm Parabellum bullets.
On that happy note, if you like Master Boot Record, Carpenter Brut, Pertubator, Gunship and the like, you’ll probably adore this. I do. If you are more a trve metal kvlt person, you’ll hate it because it has more influences than guitar, bass, drums, drugs, misogyny and alcoholism and it will fry your little brain. For everyone else, I officially declare this record fucking brilliant. You should give it a bash.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards the full 10/10 to Epoch Of Chirality and loves the magical, 80’s arcade aesthetic of it all so is off to Arcade Club in Bury in short order to go and destroy hordes of filthy alien enemies on R-Type II to a soundtrack of Epoch Of Chirality resounding through my headphones.
‘Labyrinth’ (Official Video)
01. Dawn Of Chirality
02. Undercity Rising
03. Caravan To The Midnight Mountain
05. Pyramid Cybergod
06. Maiden Voyage
07. The Abyssal Fleet
Richard How – Multi-instrumentalist uber-talented BASTARD!!!
(Especially because I can’t even fucking play the guitar properly, let alone anything else…)
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