Hailing from the northeastern part of the United States, this one man doom/death hybrid metal band has been getting the attention of underground fans in the genre. Black Chalice, hailing from Maine, started out as a raw death metal band, look for Prayers of Our Lord and Saviors, and then progressed their sound into a more doom/death sound as they went through the album Years of Flame. Now in 2012, with the new album Submission, Black Chalice continues to impress with musical talent and wondrous compositions into the doom realm at even a greater height than before.
Submission embraces us with four alluring doom/death tracks. First thing I have to mention is the raw production. I read other little reviews of the band floating around and some discredited them because of the raw production over shadowing the instruments, I laughed. In fact, I believe that the raw production adds even more atmosphere to the music, well at least on this album and the previous. Now, first comes Deluge which is a nice clean guitar and ambient instrumental luring us in on what we are about to hear. It's not until the second track, Regret, where the productions comes into play along with nice doomy riffs and mid paced tempos. One of the things that will capture you on this album in general are the upmost guitar melodics found throughout. While Regret can get a bit repetitive maybe to some because of its length, the melodics just suck you in a void of lunacy.
Next comes in the more funeral-esque track, Cornea. Again exemplifying mournful riffs, this track carries the ears on a path full of sorrow and death while indulging your thoughts in a murky cloud of bleak emotions. While the track might start at a slow constant, it does speed up as it carries on, especially as it grows towards the end where melodics once again somber in with the music. Finally the last track, the title track, Submission, fades in with melancholic clean guitar strums and gloomy clean vocals. I really wasn't expecting that but it surely was nice change from all the distortion taken in. After that, a solo bass strum takes control on what is about to be awaken. The Beast of Doom. Traditional, signature doomy riffs take toll which pretty much carry the song to its finale. It gets even better as the sound is blessed with an array of beautiful atmosphere to accompany it on its way out. Wow, lots of head banging there.
Certainly after listening to Submission, it makes me want to go back to my doom days. I use to be an avid fan of the genre for a while but I just lost touch somewhere as bands were getting too stagnant. Black Chalice has reminded me while I loved the genre so much. All in all, Submission delivers for the fans of the underground extreme metal genre. While a bit repetitive at times as I stated before, the melodics during that period make up for it. If you like doom/death metal with nice melodics or looking to recapture some of the finer moments in the doom genre, then this album is for you.
Both Submission and the previous album, Years of Flame, are available for free download at the Black Chalice Last.fm page. Go check them out and spread the word!
Review by Vyldr