Thursday, August 13, 2009

Album Review: Teitanblood - Seven Chalices

I'm listening to Seven Chalices, the new-ish release by Teitanblood that Seth digs because they sound like they're riffing off of Celtic Frost. The album definitely has two presences: on the metal tracks, a majestic oppressiveness heightened by its low-fi production and the slap echo on the singer's voice. Very quickly, his shrieks and growls become like the cries of a demon-infested grotto, drawing you in to where horrors dance in the malevolent half light, crying for your tasty flesh. The non-metal tracks are atmospheric interludes, where drones and Eastern instruments meld to create soundscapes; drug-induced fantasies where Lovecraftian horror lurks at the edges, ready to turn dream into nightmare.

I'm in the process of re-reading The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco's tribute to the Sherlock Holmes stories set in an abbey in northern Italy in the 1300s. It was a time when pretty much everyone believed that all of the stuff Teitanblood is trying to conjure up in Seven Chalices was out to get them on a regular basis and they made their art accordingly, so everyone would know what was what. At one point, the main character - an elderly monk chronicling his experiences as a young man - recounts the story of his younger self examining an entranceway into a church, where carvers had depicted scenes from the Book of Revelation. The carvings are vivid enough that his young mind is able to bring the details to life, thrilling in the promise of salvation and shrinking back in intense fear from the horrors spewed up from the bowels of Hell. When I listen to Seven Chalices, I get the feeling Teitanblood were trying their best to bring that same sort of demonic presence to life in auditory form.

1 comment:

Martell said...

I don't know my feelings on something that is stealing from Celtic Frost but not doing it as good. I like the look, but we've all heard the sound before.