Left Hip

Better known for his part in the gloriously heretical Leviathan, Wrest also creates dark music under a lesser known moniker; that of Lurker of Chalice.

With Lurker of Chalice’s new re-release (eponymously titled), Wrest progresses from the black metal genre to musical styles perhaps not as abrasive but just as dark in their own way.

With a martial drum beat beginning, the first track, ‘I’ conjures the tried and tested bleakness that artists such as Burzum and Mayhem have offered countless times leaving you in anticipation of the audible onslaught that is about to ensue.

And yet, rather than bringing forth the archetypal black metal madness as swift as possible, Lurker of Chalice provides a note of bleak tranquillity in the second track, ‘Piercing where they Might’; a composition of subtlety and poise that resonates elegantly before descending the listener into the abyss with repetitively droning fuzz guitar and ferocious vocal roars.

‘Spectre as Valkerie is’ follows a similar pattern, using atmospheric sounds of rattling chains and howling winds that are pierced in quick succession first by a sound like that of a wailing banshee and then finally by the onslaught of black metal drumming and guitars, subsiding not too soon after to make way for a slower, more brooding work than usually found on a black metal record.

To say the album is heavy with atmosphere would be quite the understatement, in fact, as mentioned before, it is this idiosyncratic choice to dampen the din of black metal and to allow for these creeping and eerie moments that marks Lurker of Chalice as a unique release in the metal market. The track ‘minions’ merely adds to the already mounting evidence that sludgy and paced guitar work mixed with black metal vocals and a hell of a lot of ambience can carry an album securely on a high pedastal of accomplishment indeed.

‘This Blood Falls as Mortals part III’ continues in a similar vein, with Wrest’s deep guttural vocals mumbling demonically in the background of the ten minute long track, a track that through its experimentations discovers a medium ground between black metal and dark ambient/ industrial, a track then that will surely satiate many an alternative music fan’s appetite at once.

An all-round remarkable and rewarding album, Lurker of Chalice is finding appreciators from a variety of musical tastes (within reason) most of all the black/death metal scene, who hopefully will see through the album’s minimal use of powerful guitar and drum orchestrations and discover the decaying beauty that this album possesses, a beauty surely not too far from their “dark hearts”….aesthetically speaking of course.

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