Teitanblood - Seven Chalices
Norma Evangelium Diaboli
11 songs (58:55)
Release year: 2009
Official Website, Norma Evangelium Diaboli
Reviewed by Charles
Archive review
Free advertising on mainstream metal racks worldwide could be fatal to underground credibility, but Teitanblood managed the former without jeopardising the latter when their logo patch made it onto Mr. Necro’s right leg on the cover to Darkthrone’s Circle the Wagons. It's easy to see why something this unreconstructed would appeal to the Hiking Metal Punks; this is immensely enjoyable death metal in an uncompromisingly old school vein with a sound that could block a sewer system. It is as chaotic and raw its title would imply (a reference to Possessed, surely?), and bursting with the deafening enthusiasm of extreme metal's youth. By so reaching back in time for inspiration it hits that sweet spot where the walls between death and black hadn't been built quite as high, when everything was just transgressive, glorious noise.

This, however, is more than a simple exercise in grimy 80s worship (and at an hour in length, that is a relief.) True, cartoonish occultism and blasphemy are played up gleefully, and some of the most effective parts are the peripheral sound effects; crashing The Omen-styled choral shrieks, buzzing flies and bubbling water noise are used to give this a riotously retro video nasty feel. But despite the Possessed comparison this is often slower and more menacing than the deaththrash of yesteryear. Imagine Obituary, if their sound on Slowly We Rot had been rotted, slowly. Bloated and flatulent, but also wizened and aged.

In actuality, this hideous sound and gurgling-fiend vocals are moulded to some surprisingly ambitious compositions (despite the occasionally lackadaisical musicianship). In particular, the climactic two tracks are twisting, dark epics, shunting you through a ghost train ride of gnarly riffs and ugly belches, with eerie monkish plainsong and other grim treats popping up like plastic skeletons. Closer Origin of Death initially appears as a rumbling cave of crashing, formless guitar noise, before a terrible, thrilling sound takes sonic-shape around 1:12. This is one of the meanest slow riffs you could ever hope to hear; a lumbering Pain Elemental belching forth flaming skulls.

There are twists throughout that give Seven Chalices a genuinely volatile feel; like where the dense fast-slow grumbling of Domains of Darkness and Ancient Evil gives way to a vicious coda of twisted-wire lead guitar lines and funeral bell percussion. Always, the core of the sound is soaked in peripheral noise; tuneless, atonal leads, feedback and the oppressive horror ambience of the various cutaways.

For sure, 2009 was a good year for this sort of thing, what with releases from Azarath and D666 in particular, but this perhaps capped them all for ugliness. Seven Chalices should be irresistible for devotees of the kind of extreme metal that makes your speakers ooze pus.

Killing Songs :
Domains of Darkness and Ancient Evil, Origin of Death
Charles quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Teitanblood that we have reviewed:
Teitanblood - Death reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
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