21 Apr 2016

Black Chalice: "Submission"

On the right track to the apocalypse
The sonic versions of burdening depression and imposing matters is exactly what you would expect from a project named Black Chalice, and the project delivers. The undertaking of one Patrick Hasson, a resident of Maine, USA, continues to return with more outings of mind-crippling doom.

With Submission, Black Chalice returns to the demo format, towing a quartet of arrangements: Deluge, Regret, Cornea and Submission. Together they form a 30 minute journey, with Deluge forming an introductory coordination of expectations for the demo; Intros are somehow a bit atypical for Black Chalice, and as such could be read as an experiment in doing away with the usual modus operandi of head on sonic chaos with gritty guitars groaning under the stress of Hasson's hands. Instead, Deluge offers a flow of acoustics, building an unexpectedly soft atmosphere that strongly contrasts with the nihilistic musical ramblings of the later tracks.

"The sound, while raw and aesthetically unpleasing, exposes Hasson's evolution as a songwriter since the beginnings in 2011."

The remaining tracks, Regret, Cornea and Submission, however, reveal that the Black Chalice some have come to know through a number of releases is still present, merely lying in wait, dormant. The sound, while raw and aesthetically unpleasing, exposes Hasson's evolution as a songwriter since the beginnings in 2011. On Submission riffs with more noticeable melodies and rhythmically more trudging speeds are favoured, partially leaving behind the unvaried tremolos of his earlier Black Chalice demos, like Years of Flame and Prayers for Our Lord and Saviour. It adds a whole new level of detail to pique one's interest, furthering the immersion of the listener.

With this type of droning, death-doom metal immersion is key. Just like the opening track Deluge ensured a tabula rasa approach with fresh impressions, the titular composition Submission also seeks to lul the listener into a false sense of comfort with a sombre, acoustic intro, before obliterating every hope for continued survival with a blast of raw, distorted guitar-dominated soundscapes. These landscapes of sound are integral in Black Chalice's sound, and with the addition of more layers of melody and instrumentation, Patrick Hasson has accomplished what is likely his best work yet. Especially on Regret does this become evident, where weeping guitars provide a nice contrast to the groaning and coarse stringplay.

Black Chalice's rhythm section is severely downplayed, but not understated. On his earlier demos, monotonous drumming dominated the sound stage, but by now they have become a much more integrated part of the sound. The band could be described roughly as a discordant powerplay between distorted drones and rhythms, and while previous efforts have been rather unrefined and directionless, Submission takes control and delivers a much more focused effort with four compositions that offer both passages of glorious melody and grand vistas of desolation.


Released in 2012 independently & by Contaminated Tones Productions


No comments:

Post a Comment