Review Summary: One of the worst albums I have ever listened to. A sad attempt at atmosphere that has resulted in an incredibly awful excuse of an album.
Black metal has contributed to a large portion of my listening over the last 2 years, and in the past 12 months I have become very interested in experimental/ambient black metal. So this eventually lead me to this band, Lurker of Chalice
. They had a pretty interesting name, and the artwork for the album looked plain, but enticing, so I got it and then regretted filling my ears with the garbage that the album contained.
Lurker of Chalice
is a one man side project from a musician called Wrest, who is also the founder of another experimental/ambient black metal band called Leviathan
. (Apparently he is also a member of another black metal band called Twilight
, God knows why he can’t just stick with one band). This self-titled is the first and, as of now, only album released under the name of Lurker of Chalice
. When I first found out Lurker of Chalice
was a Wrest’s individual project, I had high hopes for something as interesting and intimate as Burzum’s Filosofem
. My judgment proved to be as bad as the album itself. This was in no way interesting; the music was boring, simple, lacked any good melody and sounded absolutely horrible. Every song has the same murky, resonating drone, and the album plods along for an entire, painstakingly long hour. There is no variety in the songs whatsoever; it’s made up entirely of a mixture of ambience and extremely repetitive guitar. Then to top it off, we have Wrest’s terrible voice mumbling along with every song in what is really an enormous mess of an album.
I cannot tell you how much the vocals on this album suck. Wrest neither screams, nor growls, nor sings. He mumbles. He literally mumbles in a low, snarling voice. Occasionally he holds a prolonged note, but that just gets lost in the drone of the guitars. An example of how horrible they are is towards the end of the song ‘Minions’. There are some great black metal vocalists around these days, but even the most standard of these puts Wrest to shame. Wrest also tries to make album seem more diverse by including some different vocal arrangements, but all they do is make the album sound even more shi
t. The song ‘Granite’ features some sort of chanting, which is synonymous to Wrest’s other terrible vocals. The song ‘Fastened to the Five Points’ has what sounds like a retard moaning into the microphone. Furthermore, some of the songs on the album contain a British woman saying random sentences, in what seems a desperate bid to make this atrocity of an album seem deep. But it fails, miserably.
You’ll notice on your first listen of the album, that every song repeats a riff, or a melody, over and over again. The bad thing is none of the melodies are actually decent. I listened to Agalloch
quite a bit during my analysis of Lurker of Chalice
in order to compare it to something similar, and I cannot comprehend how bad Lurker of Chalice
really is. As mentioned before, the repetitive sounds of the album just merge into a single horrible drone, which sounds muddy and irritatingly monotonous. As A.K. (Silenius) wrote in his Sound-Off to this album, ‘This is pretty much the epitome of atmosphere done completely wrong’. Well said.
I don’t believe there is a single good thing about this album. I will not listen to it again as soon as I finish writing this (I always like this replay the album as I’m writing its review), and I will make sure that if anybody ever mentions ambient, atmospheric black metal, I’ll tell them NOT to get this album. Stay away.