Yeah! Some great death metal from Norway has emerged in recent years, and Chton take a page out of the old Sunlight Swedish sound and add a heavy dose of early 1990s American death metal. This debut full-length on Retribute Records, Chtonian Lifecode, is a throwback to the early 90s, playing death metal that is not overtly technical or fast. Nowadays, this style is back in vogue with the successes of Bloodbath and Blood Red Throne being most notable.
Does Chton distinguish itself? Yes. Chton play with an almost dirty, deliberate sloppiness that fits the style quite well. Great riffs played with some mid-paced drumming (no blastbeats) highlight this excellent work. Notable influences that really stand out are the early stuff from Grave and the sloppier moments from Incantation. I’ve always felt that Incantation are masters at this deliberately sloppy style, and Chton manages this trick as well.
The production on the album is top notch. Chtonian Lifecode hits you with full power and all instruments are audible. No instrument dominates the other. The vocals are an almost understandable growl, and have enough variety to keep you interested. My one complaint is a boring ambient track at the end of the album that goes on far too long and adds nothing to the release. Drop this gimmick in the future, please.
Basically, if you’re into old school death metal, you’ll enjoy this debut from Chton and I look forward to future releases.