Chalice Of Suffering – Lost Eternally

A few years ago, during the review of their debut album For You I Die, I had expressed myself very favourably about Chalice Of Suffering, a new creature dedicated to the most atmospheric death doom led by John McGovern. The peculiarity of the Minnesota band was to be, in some ways, different from the others, by virtue of an atmospheric approach that, thanks to the profound recitation of the vocalist, almost took the contours of a sort of painful soundtrack of a very grey existence. After the release of that album John had to face some serious health problems that, fortunately, now seem to be overcome and this seems to have sharpened even more his artistic sensibility: Lost Eternally is a concentrate of leaden and painful atmospheres, melodically intense and almost never pushed on extreme sides, both in terms of rhythm and guitar (here the couple already tested in the previous work, formed by Nikolay Velev and Will Maravelas, is the protagonist of an excellent work, also in composition). Another added value on this occasion is the participation of various guest vocalists, which obviously makes the whole thing even more interesting, complementing McGovern’s declamatory growl. In The Mist Of Once Was, the opening track, which was also chosen to be accompanied by a video, clearly outlines what the imprint of the work is, even if here the extra touch provided by the contribution of the bagpipes played by Kevin Murphy appears anything but secondary: the traditional Scottish wind instrument, in fact, compared to the previous album appears perfectly cohesive with the painful sound texture. As in most of the other long tracks (which average about ten minutes each, apart from the last two, which are relatively shorter) the sound seems to unfold placidly and slowly insinuate itself into the listener’s imagination, who is regularly shaken emotionally by a magnificent final crescendo; this is what happens in the magnificent Forever Winter, which together with the following title track represents the central fulcrum of an album that any lover of the most evocative and atmospheric doom cannot fail to appreciate. With the exception of Miss Me, But Let Me Go, a track slightly more sustained at the rhythmic level that, not coincidentally, sees the participation of a musician of death extraction as the Indian The Demonstealer, Lost Eternally is a fluctuating journey through feelings and disturbances that can undermine the certainties of each in turn and that, in the poetics of McGovern, end up merging into a single dramatic feeling. Lost Eternally elevates Chalice Of Suffering to the highest levels of the genre: the sound of the American band, by virtue of its more reasoned pace, seems to really differ from the historical models taken as reference, whose contents are reworked with a very personal stylistic code.

2019 – Transcending Obscurity Records