There’s a grain of real talent in French outfit Chabtan’s debut that’s desperately trying to blossom. The Kiss Of Coatlicue shows a group trying very hard to do something individual and original by mixing styles and influences in a way that’s their own.
The problem is that the result is a rough, jagged-edged knife rather than the smooth cutting blade it wants to be. The title track is a microcosm of the wider problems, with an acoustic intro giving way abruptly to a jarring black metal blast, only for generic metalcore to take over, with minor-key melodic leads and shouty vocals telegraphing a clean chorus.
Elsewhere, death and groove metal riffs butt heads in a way that can’t mesh the way they should. It’s all rather disjointed, meaning nothing sticks in the mind, robbing the record of the personality the band are shooting for.
If it was all blended together this could rule, as the ideas are frequently excellent (if occasionally pedestrian), but instead this is a fragmented and forgettable missed opportunity./o:p