It was the night before the full moon, the 15th of October, 2016. A small crowd had formed outside of Petit Campus, waiting for the doors to open and Chronicles of Israfel to take the stage. For the band, today’s mission was to support the debut of their sophomore album, A Trillion Lights (BOH Records).
Finally taking the stage at 11 p.m., they leapt into action. Prog metal belted out through the small venue. The crowd bubbled, jumping with the beat like water coming to boil. The band had an engaging, evocative style. Listening to it gave me that special release that only comes from metal. It feels like a cross between shivers down my spine to the beat of a powerful metronome.
Dominic Cifarelli (lead guitarist/vocalist) was in his element. His long hair flowed as he sang, and it was as though he’d merged with his instrument to become a machine. The music had a very calculated feel to it—almost as though it had been written by that musical machine. However, that harmony gets repetitive and it seemed like the band was playing one very long song, as there were no breaks between tracks, and I found myself getting fatigued trying to find natural pauses and breaks between songs. Nor was there much bantering with the crowd. I also wished that there was more interaction with the audience. It brings out a new facet of a band’s personality when they engage with the crowd, it makes the experience more intimate and unique.
During the last few songs, I noticed the crowd getting into the mood for metal. They were jumping, cheering, shouting. It was like the music had whipped them into a fury and unlocking something inside them. Dominic leaned over them, encouraging them to mosh. A mosh pit formed, the beat stirring the pot. Bodies jerked, push, shoved and were thrown around. It was more like a battle than a dance. As Dominic said, it wasn’t the biggest in the universe, but it was the biggest one that would be seen in Petit Campus that night.
While I did enjoy the show, it felt as though some of the songs chosen were too long to be played live, while others were more suited to the mosh pit. It was apparent that the audience wanted something more high-energy with the longer songs. However, it can be seen that early into their act that there is a distinctive sound to Chronicles of Israfel, and that makes it very easy for me to recommend them as an emerging talent for lovers of prog metal.
The Set list was as follows:
Colors Of The Energy Construct
Spirit Carousel ft. Bekki Friesen
Life I Know
Hatred In My Heart
Violet Empress (Last Love)
Greet The Sun
A Trillion Lights
The Turning Of The Heavens