Schammasch - The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite album review

Ambitious Swiss crew embark on a new odyssey

Cover art for Schammasch - The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite album

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Swiftly following their Triangle triple album, Schammasch return with the first of a number of releases exploring the 19th century poetic novel, Les Chants de Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont. Centred around a protagonist who opposes God and renounces morality’s conventions, this long-prose poem certainly lends itself thematically to an ambitious metal act. Across the 30-minute run-time, Schammasch favour the developing quasi-industrial post-metal aspects of their sound. And while there are familiar opaque ambient passages and spoken-word sections, there’s some magic missing due to the suppression of the band’s black and death metal forces, this first chapter proving to be fairly uneventful save for the tense forward thrust of Chimerical Hope. It might also be a case of too much too soon, given how we’re still absorbing its sprawling predecessor. But because of the band’s past accomplishments, it would be remiss to pass final judgement until The Maldoror Chants has been presented in full.