BLOOD CHALICE – THE BLASPHEMOUS PSALMS OF CANNIBALISM (Werewolf Records)
Packed to the bursting brim with copious overflows of ferocious, uncompromising Black / Death, Blood Chalice’s second full-length, ‘The Blasphemous Psalms of Cannibalism’, is a nasty and welcome surprise in an era when too many bands are playing it safe and prioritising melody over aggression. These Finns are clearly mindful of the fact that underground Black and / or Death Metal needs to be foul and disgusting – and this requires the right imagery, lyrics and sound.
For the most part, ‘The Blasphemous Psalms of Cannibalism’ constitutes a relentless onslaught of depraved, warmongering Satanic profanity, the sacrilege and desecration delivered with suitably fervent contempt and hostility. Nothing is sacred and why should it be? After ‘The Black Mass’ rips your face off and feeds it to your mother, ‘The Last Supper of Insects’ – a poignant title in the current global climate! – ratchets up the bodily damage. And so it continues mercilessly…
Blood Chalice are men on a mission and by the time we get to the midway point of the album, with ‘Burned Faith’ and ‘Celestial Destroyer’ extending the bestial, depraved onslaught gleefully, it’s impossible not to admire the crooked quartet’s single-mindedness. While the album is all about barbarism, Blood Chalice do allow a sliver of space in which to breath, with offerings such as ‘Antichristian War Declaration’, ominous instrumental ‘Hate Meditation’, parts of the aforementioned ‘Celestial Destroyer’ and closing offensive ‘The Rise of Iconoclast’ demonstrating an adeptness in crafting (ugly) atmosphere as well as violence.
In many respects, ‘The Blasphemous Psalms of Cannibalism’ is the antidote to all the ills plaguing Black Metal right now. Never deviating far from the template of sonic terrorists like Revenge, Black Witchery and Proclamation, this is a rabid, rousing and refreshing assault, annihilating all in its path and leaving behind a noxious, billowing trail of blood, gore, guts and semen.