Monday, January 17, 2011

Lurker of Chalice - Lurker of Chalice

Ambient black metal from Wrest/Jeff Whitehead, who is also responsible for Leviathan and is in Krieg, Twilight, and Nachtmystium. This self-titled record was released on Total Holocaust and then rereleased on Southern Lord. No one seems to know if Lurker of Chalice is going to put out more albums, though Wrest claims there are several more sitting around his house. Seeing as he's probably going to jail for assaulting his girlfriend, everything is more definitely on hold for the foreseeable future. Fucking asshole.

With a few reservations, I really like this album and highly recommend it. The opening (and certain parts throughout) makes me feel like I’m playing Final Fantasy or some recent version of Castlevania. As far as the music/composition is concerned, I have no complaints. It has a doomy feel, but I would definitely call it ambient black metal and not outright doom. He does some pretty crazy stuff with the guitars in terms of tone and melody, which gives the album plenty of variety. It's synth heavy, which might bother some people, but they aren't overtly cheesy.

Overall this is a cold, depressing album that lacks the hate of Leviathan, but makes up for it in depth and variety. The cold sounding guitars and slightly post-industrial feel make it a perfect winter album. If you only pick one song to listen to, make it "Paramnesia," which might be my favorite track.

My only complaint is that I’m not sure about the vocals, which are done in a sort of spoken/growl/whisper. It would have been better if he mixed it up a bit and included some more typical black metal vocals. My other complaint is that some of the songs are a little meandering and could probably have been edited down.

It's better than Leviathan and I completely stand by that statement. What the hell does Lurker of Chalice mean, though? It sounds like some sort of obscure Lovecraft reference, but I know most of those.

Track List:
1. I
2. Piercing Where They Might
3. Spectre As Valkerie Is
4. Minions
5. Paramnesia
6. This Blood Falls As Mortal Part III
7. Granite
8. Vortex Chalice
9. Fastened to the Five Points

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