Released: 2013, Memento Mori
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
“Into Hypnagogia” is the second full length effort from Middle Eastern Doom Metallers Chalice of Doom, who back in 2012 made some waves because of the fact that they were the first band with growled Death Metal vocals to be allowed to play in their country, Jordan, in five years.
The band mix many elements in their music, going beyond the Doom/Death Metal paradigm to include influences from Middle Eastern music, melodic sung vocals, flutes, acoustic guitars, and keyboards. There are lots of contributions from musicians outside the band that provide the album with many layers of music that overlaps with the Doom and Death Metal styles: in other words, this is what some should refer to when speaking about Metal that is experimental and different.
The band keeps the tempos slow enough so as to create a monolithic wall of sound that captures the listener. The songs include topics such as war and the situations and struggles that people in the Middle East have to face, with other lyrics taking on a more surreal, dreamlike concept.
The vocals on this record are impressive: these vary from roaring growled Death Metal vocals, to more esoteric-like clean vocal styles, chants, and big, haunting choruses. The melodic vocals come courtesy of Giampaul Andrianopoulos from bands Lonesome October and Earthen. “Dyers of Dusk” is a perfect example of this: sung vocals meet low growled Death Metal vocals, while the music itself goes from a keyboard laden slow section, to a more Progressive Metal like section with awesome lead guitar work.
In between, we get weird sounds like samples of wind blowing, and keyboards. Other tracks, such as “Shaheed” provide what at first appears to be conventional Doom Metal, then drift off into spacey sections where the music stops, and only the sounds of rare instruments and eerie chants carry the music.
There are also instrumental tracks such as “Moonflower” and closer “Death Apnea” which are quite interesting in their own right. Overall, the best way to enjoy this record is to play it from start to finish, and let the songs do their job.
This is a very promising release from Chalice of Doom, and their future could not appear brighter.
The elements on display here are simply astounding, and the epic feel of this music makes it stand above other bands who claim to be “experimental”.
The production gives everything this sparse and spaced out aspect which grabs the listener’s attention, inviting us to journey into this world the band creates through their music.
Review by Titus Isaac López