Why? Well, I simply don't like metalcore and it has been ages since I listened to symphonic metal. Today the album almost literally fell into my lap while I was sorting out the CDs. I decided to give it a shot and I have to say, I am not as disappointed as I thought I would be.
The album opens with the powerful and forward pushing 'Lilith'. Immediately influences from bands like Arch Enemy, Trivium and Lacuna Coil appear. Fronted by the versatile Lola Van Loo, this Swiss band is a raging tribute to metal, certainly capable of causing most pits and crowd surfers. So far so good but the following track, 'Don't Waste Your Time' somewhat reduces the joy. Although this is not a bad song, you can hear a searching band, not yet fully convinced of their abilities. Either that, or they take the element of experimentation a bit too far.
Then again, 'Crawling In The Dirt' is a top level metal track, combining the best from Otep with the best of Arch Enemy and that is a serious compliment. It also show a bit of humor, which I think is a good thing. 'Blue Scorpion' is a cracker but also seems to drown in the planned versatility of the band. Sometimes I feel as if Chaoseum tried to adopt too many influences at once, giving the music an unnecessary complexity. In my opinion, fans will crave more tracks like the brutal 'F.T.S.' or the pummeling 'Devil's Wedding'.
'First Step To Hell' is not a bad album. In fact, it's certainly above average. The music is performed to perfection. There is plenty of power and the whole thing is varied enough to remain interesting, apart from a few missteps. What Chaoseum needs now is heaps of stage performances. If all goes well there, there is a big change for founding them on big stages in the future. In a few years, they might release a masterpiece. This CD has planted the seeds for that. There is potential, that's for sure.