originally written by Chris McDonald
Sometimes you come across bands so transgressive in their approach that it seems pointless to judge them against even the loosest standards commonly accepted in music. Case in point, Teitanblood’s full-length debut. Purveying a form of death/black/grind almost ridiculously raw and primitive, stacking Teitanblood against even the more grizzly extreme metal outfits would still have those bands sounding tame and reserved by comparison.
The primary songs here consist of little more than a barrage of sloppy blastbeats and muddy tremolo riffs interspersed with ghostly, almost inaudible vocals and numerous noisy, Repulsion-esque guitar solos. The guitar sound is devastatingly heavy, completely enveloping all the other instruments in a sea of black sludge that strongly harkens back to Carcass’s unforgettable Wall-of-Sound on Symphonies of Sickness. While Seven Chalices tends to go by in an incoherent blur on the first listen or two, repeated spins reveal some pretty damn solid riffwork, especially in “Domains Of Darkness and Ancient Evil” and the title track, satisfying if only because of how utterly animalistic and filthy it sounds. Breaking up the pace are a few “atmospheric” interludes which, while serving nicely to give the listener some breather time from the relentless noisy bursts of the main songs, are overly long and frequent and lose their luster fairly quickly. In fact, the album’s length (almost an hour) and repetitive nature may make it a hard front-to-back listen for some, but when taken on a song by song basis, the sheer barbarity of this music is at least fairly intriguing and entertaining, if not especially engaging.
Seven Chalices takes the primitive, old-school aesthetic popular in death metal these days and shoves it down to a whole new extreme of dark depravity. If you prefer your death metal with even a marginal amount of clarity or songwriting focus, look elsewhere. But for those who crave this style at its most rudimentary and savage form, Teitanblood delivers with a vengeance. You are warned.