Pale Chalice

Afflicting The Dichotomy Of Trepid Creation

Flenser Records 2011

The debut EP from San Francisco's black metal conspirators, Pale Chalice is noisy and apocalyptic, sort of like Havohej meets middle era Gorgoroth with some weirdness thrown in.  This description is perfectly illustrated on the EP opener, Transplant Of Dimensional Recourse.  Harsh and raw, though still surprisingly produced, the riffs and stone-hard vocals amble like a ravenous beast.  The track shifts into disharmonic accents before becoming blasting and rhythmically melodic.  Gently swaying, riffs dragging like claws, dissonant notes piercing the darkness, this is the initial stage of Command Of The Formless.  However, the track quickly gravitates towards, catchiness and then even further towards gripping speed and a distinctly American black metal melody.  Then the cycle repeats.  Caressed By A Feeble Flame is dramatic and entrancing.  Its first riff is amazing, caught between the down-tuned hollowness of Swedish Death and thicker black metal destruction. Then a twisted and distorted Celtic Frost riff is speared by Voivodian disharmonic accents before it is all overtaken by a straight blasting black metal barrage.  At around the 2:45 mark it drops into some stark introspection.  The final track, Ascend The Idyllic Sphere, is introduced by total Nordic atmospheric speed.  Swooping in like a soaring falcon, epic melodies dominate the tracks middle before diabolical speed erupts once again.  Pale Chalice, take traditional American black metal and enhance it through demented song structures and bizarre sonic textures.  Afflicting The Dichotomy Of Trepid Creation is both beautiful and strange as while remaining simultaneously harsh and aggressive.