CHALICE - THERE IS NOTHING (Independent)
(Review by Stefan)
About two years ago I had the hour to spread the word of Belgian based Chalice’s three song promo CD. At the end of my discussion, the band got a well deserved 85/100 rating. The potential I’ve heard at that time would eventually lead to a new, full length album and became reality since last Saturday the 4th. May 2013. Officially, the new Chalice album was unleashed during their CD release concert which took place in a venue called The Steeple, Waregem-Belgium. Due to other pursuits, I unfortunately couldn’t be representative but it’s my pleasure to make it up to these guys… read my thoughts on their brand new effort entitled “There Is Nothing” as follows.
Chalice wanted a strong result and that’s why the entire recording time took several months (July 2012-February 2013). The album has been recorded, mixed and mastered by the well known Tony De Block at the Midas Studio… my impression on the production of “There Is Nothing” can be described as pure and clean/heavy as hell… the ideal sound for Chalice’s alley called Death/Thrash Metal. The image as reflected on the cover looks very dark and sinister which actually says a lot of the band’s musical attitude. The overall musical aspect deals with dark, yet realistic elements in a human lifetime such as behavior/religion among other. Actually the best way to include the contemporary world which is filled with senseless, ghastly tragedies!
Drummer Vincent ‘Vinny’ Debaveye and lead guitarist Nicolas Bruggeman entered the Chalice ranks in 2011, both are ex-Eternal Breath members and be sure that these guys deliver the goods! Vinny’s technical way of drumming is able to attract my complete attraction, shredder Nicolas always in for the kill with a lethal dose of melodic leads/smoking hot, melodic leads… an absolute value for Chalice they really are ! Back in 2007, second guitar player Hans Depraetere teamed up with Chalice and takes his duties for real, great axeman anyway. The bass lines still technically delivered by founding member since 1998 named Chris Lagrange (ex Iconoclasm), Pieter Dewulf’s aggressive way of singing cut through flesh and bone so better watch out…
“There Is Nothing”, the fourth release of Chalice opens very furious with the song called ‘No Counterpart”. Aggressive vocals, good oiled thrashing rhythms alternating with cool breaks and nice melodic passages… the right tone is put and I’m longing to hear more songs of this calibre. Up to next song called ‘Dead Nation’ and its fantastic guitar riffs, again with the aggressive vocals of frontman Pieter who has a wide range in vocal service. I hear a magical chemistry between each one of the players what makes me optimal favourable. ‘Parasites Of Hatred’ starts in a real darkened doomy mood but at certain moments, the high speed velocities to work out contagious. Varied vocal use ranging from violent aggression to death grunt, this song shows the real identity of Chalice and their passion for extreme, melodic Death/Thrash Metal music.
My inner elation continues with next ‘Stop Trying’, with the emphasis of the great guitar works of both axe grinders… a song that bites! And also ‘Coward’ shows what Chalice is all about, outstandingly sophisticated guitar tactics, fast double drum lines, well skilled bass duties and a frontman that keeps on surprising me with his wide range of aggressive vocals. According to myself, next song ‘When Gods Are Sleeping’ is one of the absolute highlights. Beautiful built up composition with loads of unexpected musical twists and turns. It feels dark and gloomy, heavy as hell,… this one brings me back to the glorious days of Gothenburg Metal – great work anyway! Last track ‘Kneel Before The Dogs’ still keeps my attention optimal, melodic Thrash Metal with a Gothenburg-alike vibe is what I feel so…
I conclude that Chalice just brought out their best album so far, no doubt about! A Belgian band to be proud on and I goddamn truly hope that they can grab a decent record deal soon enough... they need it and they absolutely deserve it! My honesty obliges me to mention that extreme forms of Metal aren’t my number one favourite styles of music, at the other hand and true fact is that Chalice’s new effort “There Is Nothing” is able to attract my attention completely to itself. You don’t have to be fully addicted to one or another style of music, more important is that you can hear and feel the real thing between the good and the bad moves the band are up to. Listening closely to the new Chalice album and in particular based on their musical skills, I have to admit these Belgians are really good within the fields of Melodic Death Thrash Metal. Be surprised by their merciless strength as it was the case with me… Check ‘em out at: http://www.chalice.be/
My Points: 88 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & classic ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but better to take a preview first
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard