Finnish Blackened deathmongers are out to claim your flesh with their vicious second full length release.
Where does one start? Well, they say you should not judge a book by its cover, but sometimes an album cover gives you a pretty good idea of what’s inside. In this case, its 3 hooded figures stood in front of an altar, watching a lass chow down on her just-born infant. That’s nasty and vicious. And yes, it does set the tone nicely (or should that be nastily) for the ensuing 44 minutes of audio-violence ahead…
No messing around with intros, this starts off with a razor sharp riff that introduces us to some breakneck drumming and riffing. Vocals vary between a harsh growl, to more of a higher pitched black metal style. One of the things that “The Black Mass” is very clear about, is setting us up for a very uncompromising 12 tracks.
“The Last Supper of Insects” is aptly named, as this sounds like a horde of human-sized murder hornets out to eat beekeepers rather than bees. Vocals vary again on this one, with a proper guttural death metal growl adding to the intensity.
The pace slows down some for “Antichristian War Declaration” yet it is as groovy as fu**. Slow headbanging will ensue, I am sure of that! More death than black on this one!
“Matanbuchus” (A demon of worthlessness and wickedness) has a deceptive start, with another great groove before it erupts into a clamour of strombolian activity that will leave you going “WTF!”
Do you need to get your breath back?
Well, you can’t. Not a bloody chance! As the previous track ends abruptly with an anguished scream, “Burned Faith” comes in like a steamroller with Formula 1 acceleration. Very much in the vein of Black Witchery or Blasphemy this one. It is fast, furious and totally uncompromising.
Another series of tortured screams over pounding blasts is the sound of “Celestial Destroyer“. Despite its excess of tempo, this is the longest track on the album at six and a half minutes. It does however vary the pace as it goes along, slowing to a nice brutal chug before becoming more doom like. Then of course its speeds up like buggery for the last quarter of the song. Nice!
Next up is the title track. Now I’m hoping this one is going to be an absolute face-ripper. What we get is more akin to old school death metal, which is pretty damned perfect for this. Almost Autopsy-ish in its first half, then all hell lets loose, and it is indeed what I was hoping for! Goodbye my fair visage….
“Blood Worship” is a further lesson in savagery. This is the sound of a full-on shark feeding frenzy – one can almost picture gouts of blood and tattered bits of flesh…. Then we get a short respite with a short yet heavy instrumental track “Hate Meditation“. before the final twelve minutes or so of the album.
The final third – are you still alive?!
Well if your head is still attached to your neck, and your heart has not given up, then brace yourself! “Temet Nosce” (Latin for “Know Thyself”) ramps the speed and attack up even further. Once again, the likes of Blasphemy are a good comparison to this hymn of violence!
Penultimate track “From The Grave of Livyatan” (alternative spelling to Leviathan), is a mixture of devolved growls and anguished screams. Blast beats rip their way through this along with razor sharp guitar riffs.
Now we get to the last track on the album – “The Rise of Iconoclast“. Another just over the six minute mark, this is another that starts off with a slow paced riff and slow deep growled vocals, before once again the floodgates of musical violence are breached, and a torrent of filthy blackened savagery hits you hard. About halfway through, we get another slow passage and – believe it or not – a guitar solo! Then its back to having your head ripped off your shoulders, as the higher pitched vocals dissolve into yet more heights of tortured anguish. A crescendo is reached, then the track finishes with almost a minute of seething feedback and noise. Then it stops. And you are left thinking What the F**k have I just experienced!
Final words and thoughts..
This is not just a listening experience, it’s a full-on assault to the senses that lives up to the description we had of the album: “Black/Death Savagery”. However, unlike the bands I compared it with within the main review, this has enough variation, subtle melody, and a superb production that lifts it well above them. Blood Chalice has delivered an absolute stunner of an album, never getting stale or boring throughout its length. If you want something fast, raw, nasty, and bound to piss off the neighbours, this is the perfect album to get!
The album is released by Werewolf Records on September 9th 2022
01 – The Black Mass
02 – The Last Supper of Insects
03 – Antichristian War Declaration
04 – Matanbuchus
05 – Burned Faith
06 – Celestial Destroyer
07 – The Blasphemous Psalms of Cannibalism
08 – Blood Worship
09 – Hat Meditation
10 – Temet Nosce
11 – From The Grave of Livyatan
12 – The Rise of Iconoclast