Thursday 11 July 2013

Chalice Of Doom - Into Hypnagogia - Review

Chalice Of Doom
Into Hypnagogia

Memento Mori
27 June 2013

The band:

Ahmad Seffo - guitars (lead), bass
Tariq Khasawneh - guitars (rhythm)
Muhammad Jaber - drums
Fares Swedan - vocals (growling)
Azmo Lozmodial - vocals, varration, keyboards


Majd Qewar - flute
Rogga Johansson - vocals (growls)
Marius Strand - vocals (growls)
Maria Zvyagina - keyboards
Christina Kroustali - vocals (soprano)
Giampaul Andrianopoulos - vocals, keyboards

The songs:

1. Lucid Incubus 01:15(instr)
2. Death Gown 07:05
3. Shaheed 08:09
4. Dyers Of Dusk 07:15
5. Moonflower 02:30(instr)
6. Profound 05:23
7. Against The Winds 05:50
8. Bridesmaid Of The Woods 07:47
9. The Coin Fountain 07:17
10. Shame, Written In Blood 05:43
11. Death Apnea 02:13(instr)

Chalice Of Doom is the first ever band from Jordan that I have ever heard of and listened to. And I like what I hear fo their melodic and romantic funeral doom. Formed in 2010 they already have 2 full-lengths, a single and a demo out so they are a diligent and talented band. The first live show Chalice Of Doom ever played, in 2012, brought them fame because it was the first time in over 5 years that growling vocals were allowed to be performed in Jordan. Authorities had banned this citing controversy behind the vocal style as the reason for it. Talk about differences as bands here in the western hemisphere complain about miniscule problems such as the monitors are in the wrong place, the lights aren't right etc etc. Chalice Of Doom's problems puts everything in a different perspective alright.

Into Hypnagogia starts with a beautiful instrumental piece called Lucid Incubus before launching into Death Gown. Although we're treated to traditional funeral doom with all attributes that comes with it Chalice Of Doom side steps all hurdles in their way simply by being so talented. What I mean is they let the music do the talking and also the songs are so well-written and perfectly executed. The sweeping notes from the keyboard and the soaring backing vocals enhances the core of Death Gown bringing melancholy and sadness to the fore.

Shaheed tells the story of children being born into a war that has been raging for decades and they fight without really knowing why. Instead they want freedom and justice. Slightly heavier and faster, in lack of better words, than it's predecessor you can feel the weight of such a heritage.

The back-and-forth growling/clean vocal-interchange between Fares and Azmo on Dyers Of Dusk puts the storytelling in a different light but it also allows the music to shift and change elegantly.

Moonflower is an excellent instrumental piece which brings classic music into the fold in a perfect way. Performed soley on the piano it's beautiful tones works as a great segue into the albums middle part were Profound picks up the thread. I love the guitars on this track, they are really good throughout but here they add more dimension to the music. Against The Winds continues where Profound left off musically where the solo towards the end is amazing. Starting off with a beautiful piano as soon as Fares starts to growl the band kicks in and, although slow, Bridesmaid Of The Woods is the heaviest song on the album. And along with Moonflower and The Coin Fountain it is my favourite song as well.

Dreamy and soaring The Coin Fountain sees guest soprano Christina Kroustali and Azmo singing the verses back and forth in this sad song about the loss of your loved loved one. A great and reflective song indeed! Shame, Written In Blood is the last vocal track on Into Hypnagogia and Fares takes centre stage on this slow and repentant song which leads into Death Apnea the third instrumental piece on the album as well as being the closer. Soft and airy it lets the music drift away just as a soul supposedly does when you die....a perfect ending of a really good album.

I really like funeral doom but it is an aquired taste and I have to admit that this style doesn't always work for me. Summertime is one of those periods where I have problems grasping this stuff, still it is summertime and hot and nasty here in Tennessee...and I just love what Chalice Of Doom are playing. So these guys from Jordan must be doing something extraordinary to catch my attention. Very good music indeed folks so go out and get this album and support them.

Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Memento Mori Records for sending us a promo to review. Much appreciated.

Check the band from the links below: