(Daemon Worship Productions, 2015)
Chalice Of Blood from Sweden (consisting of anonymous members) has been active for about 10 years, releasing a Demo and two Splits, before this Ep of five songs. As a curiosity, the band seems to release their music only in vinyl format.
The first song acts as an intro of melodic guitars of picking-style, bringing to my mind stuff like early Dissection, yet not quite as melodic. As the second song presents to us the bands style a bit better, continuing throughout the rest of the MLP, we are not entranced with total Watain (or Dissection) -worship, although the Swedish vibe with it’s clear and high guitar-melodies is pretty evident in the music. In fact, the style of Chalice Of Blood leans on quite a few occasions towards older Metal, yet having in it also the familiar almost-dissonant riffs we are these days familiar with due to countless underground Black Metal bands of Occult nature. This stuff goes definitely to that Spiritual-genre, but as there are – at least in my ears – some elements of early nineties Metal (mostly melodic Death and Black Metal) besides the merciless blasting and tremolo-riffs (of course, bringing this music most definitely to the realm of Black Metal), this stuff seems actually more traditional than the more modern bands of this kind of aesthetic atmosphere.
The soundscapes are very well mixed and produced, fitting the quality of the playing well. However, even with the good playing and performance of all members (I’m especially liking the truly grim and sinister sounding vocals) these songs suffer slightly of characterless riffs and events. There are many quite imaginative changes in the styles of the riffs and the paces of the songs throughout the songs, but it gets really uplifting only at a few parts, although being of great quality all the time. Then again, this release will most definitely get better with multiple listens.
In the end though, this band is for fans of quality Black Metal. If you are into stuff released by labels like World Terror Committee and Daemon Worship Productions (naturally), you will most likely not be disappointed.
8/10 – Antti Mikonmäki