Lurker of Chalice "s/t" CDPosted on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 @ 7:04am » permalink
Strange that a copy of the Southern Lord reissue of the self-titled 2005 debut from one-man black metal "legend" Wrest's Lurker of Chalice project showed up in my mailbox just days after I posted about Leviathan's "Massive Conspiracy Against All Life", the comments for which ended up containing numerous mentions of this album. And I have to say, while it's "rumored" (I suppose) that "Massive Conspiracy Against All Life" was going to be a Lurker of Chalice album at one point, I just don't see much of a connection here, and must disagree with those who feel that "Massive Conspiracy…" should've been released under the Lurker of Chalice banner. Sure, there are similarities in terms of some of the sneering vocal work and faster, more Leviathan-esque black metal runs, but here those chord progressions are even more twisted and mangled, bending and churning in an even more severe and tormented manner (if you can imagine). And not that Leviathan's work is one-sided at all, but this is so obviously far more diverse! Take for example the unexpectedly dingy, sludgy, crawlingly paced doom of "Minions". Not to mention the more prominent, melodically throbbing basslines; tactful synth melodies; droning, melodic yet abstract lead lines; or similarly droning, chant-like appearances of not-exactly-singing that creep into play throughout the compositions. Everything just feels a bit more vast and experimental, with a good amount of obscurely layered guitar work that often creates cascading waves of ambient texture as opposed to tangible "riffs", as well as the occasional presence of samples (which are also quite efficiently employed). I'm honestly not entirely sure you could truly classify this as "black metal", though most seem to, as the parallels are quite far from clear-cut. It's just an entirely different beast from Leviathan… it really is.
Things do start off a little slowly with a less-than-stellar two-minute instrumental, so I was initially very uncertain as to how I'd feel about this album, but within five to 10 minutes it was clear that this is yet another admirable piece of work from Wrest. And yet again I'm quite late to the game in discovering an appreciation for what his output has to offer.
I'm only posting one song, so keep in mind that this is but a small representation of the album as a whole:
This reissue also contains a bonus track, "Wail", previously only available on the out of print 2xLP edition of the album, making for a total of 10 tracks in 68 minutes. And here's where I complain about trivial details, but I have to point out that I find it incredibly irritating that there's absolutely no mention of the bonus track on the CD's digipack presentation whatsoever. Especially since the bonus track appears smack in the middle of the tracklist (it's the seventh of the 10 songs). It wasn't until I looked up the album in the iTunes store, where it just happened to be, that I saw the complete track listing and had my suspicions as to the bonus track's location confirmed. Relatively minor details, I know, but that kind of shit still bugs me, because it's just stupid, you know!?
Nonetheless, I think this puppy used to go for absolutely obscene prices on eBay, so… now it's back in print and more widely available at no extra cost. Pick it up if you like what you hear.