Here I review the new full length from CHALICE OF SUFFERING who play atmospheric Death-Doom! Set for release via Transcending Obscurity Records on April 19th!
- In The Mist Of Once Was starts off with bleak guitars, setting an incredibly depressive mood, underlined with thundering drum beats. The spoken word and bass joining adds to the chilling beginning of the song before dropping into bass fuelled grooves. The harsher growls over the scenic instrumentals sounds absolutely haunting. Shortly after we are dropped into melodic riffs, haunting bagpipes and a totally crushing soundscape of emotionally sombre Doom Metal with a slow tempo crawl into the abyss. The primal surge of the songs melancholy is absolutely gorgeous with a true sense of dread throughout the music. The speech over the more laid back instrumental sections was really beautifully done and incredibly sombre. A fantastic way to start the album.
- Emancipation Of Pain continues in the heart-wrenching ambient thread of Doom Metal, decimating us with drawn out chords and gorgeous synths. The glacially upsetting soundscapes are so perfectly put together to create a dragging yet stunning tranquil atmosphere with simplistic riffs and drums, coated in hearty growls, a truly impactful combination. The spectral ambience of the song is gloriously executed with impeccable patience to truly allow the piece to grow. The drums on this song pack a heavy punch which combines really uniquely with the bleak guitars and blackened howls of the vocalist. There is some killer riff work on this that is catchy as it is haunting. This track was equally decimating as the first, truly wonderful.
- Forever Winter draws in with more ambience. There is a rather cosmic feel to the soundscapes they create, something I did not expect but that works surprisingly well in the album, especially when joined by the vocalist grunting. More spoken word parts add to the hauntingly dark atmosphere of the song gorgeously. The guitars, bass and drums join with total force, a monolithic weight behind them, dragging at your soul with groovy yet melancholic riffs and beats. Regardless of the self-loathing vibe of the music, it still has plenty of ferocity to it that is totally savage yet melodic and peaceful, a really contradictory yet wonderful mix. I really enjoyed the piano parts that adding some gorgeous diversity to the soundscape but without becoming obnoxious or unnecessary. Holy hell the riffs following the breaking of the ambience are crushingly brutal too, totally furious and filled with rejuvenated aggression, backed up by the barrage of thunderous drum beats. This track was another brilliant piece of totally obliterating Death-Doom Metal!
- Lost Eternally fires in with more melancholic strings and cymbal crashes, accompanied by crawling guitars. The storming kick drums really allow the livelihood of the song to grow into something huge, with a totally foreboding feel to it. With hard hitting guitar chords, crashing drums and a fully impacting soundscape set, spoken words add their haunting touch once again. Blisteringly beautiful lead work overlays the forceful rhythm sections gloriously. Without warning the song breaks up into a really cool combination of bass, drums, vocals and piano that sounds superbly punchy. The miserable crawl of the track is (in a fantastic way) fairly monotonous, creating a hypnotically grooving atmosphere that is truly enticing. A truly grievous tale unfolds within this music that is filled with bittersweet hatred, melancholy and executed in a truly cathartic manner. This is some incredibly unique, original and brilliant material!
- The Hurt drops right in with epic grooving riffs and chilling ambience. The slow paced, monstrously huge sounding walls of doomy noise are totally impacting. I was incredibly impressive by how low and hellishly tormenting the opening growls of the song were, really setting things on an awesome track for this piece. There is a psychotic dissonance to the ambience below the mesmerising instrumentals that works very well, following this we are given some gorgeously melodic guitar work filled with sombre yet lovely soul. Twinkling synths over catatonically crushing grooves and hammering drums is a strange but absolutely excellent way to throw both brutality and something supremely pretty at us. There is plenty of damn catchy riffing and impressive drum patterns within this piece too that show the true skill of the band. This song was totally unique, once again but also matched the flow and sound of the album.
- Miss Me, But Let Me Go follows up with more gorgeous bass work and simple drums taking us into more dissonant soundscapes with truly punchy tones. The unnerving pacing of the track has a really cool progressive touch to it that allows a gnarly piece of crushing Metal to grow from it. The battering drums and walls of guitar / bass hit with total force each time but also dissipate in sections to allow the momentum to regrow in full strength. I think this song was an excellently ambitious and well executed piece, drawing influence from some more traditionally Black Metal song structure but performed in a more Funeral Doom Metal style. There are some epic sections that feel almost, dare I say it, joyful (if brief). Wicked psychedelic guitars and strange ambience further add to the experimentally brilliant nature of the song. The ending faded out so beautifully too. Absolutely glorious!
- Whispers Of Madness is the final piece in this huge opus of depressive emotions, I am curious to see how they give the album finality and closure. Entering with melancholy but also a sense of purpose that really feels alive from the full band. Simple drum patterns and churning riffs start things off. The upbeat pace of the track is not how I expected things to finish, but by now I know this band is far from predictable. The built in vocals sound absolutely killer, adding to the atmosphere that is totally hypnotic. I think the band keeping the final song a bit more on the simple side helps the album to fade out nicely, that being said it is not a low quality song, just a bit less experimental, in fact it is a really catchy piece. The storming double kick under sparse expanses of guitar noise sounds so damn epic, something the band have used well but not overused. Hideously howled and growled vocals add a brutality to the piece but coupled with spoken word still seem a bit more reserved for this final piece, allowing the instrumentals to have their own voice. A great ending to the album.
This is some really unique Doom Metal with touches from Black Metal, Death Metal and even some folk and ambience, a glorious composition of emotional darkness and depressive visions. Fantastic! -8/10