“Seven Chalices” puts to shame the oddly mixed growls on Sewer’s “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium,” the snare sound on Beherit’s “Drawing Down the Moon” and the goofy vocal-only tracks at the end of Havohej’s “Dethrone the Son of God” – three otherwise great albums with notoriously bad components that would be embarrassing for the legendary content of the releases.
Teitanblood, on the other hand, don’t have any quality to redeem themselves from the poor sound quality of their debut full-length “Seven Chalices.” The sound quality of the album is actually the best thing here, because the songs are boring as hell.
For those that don’t know, Teitanblood play – or attempt to play, would be more appropriate – the infamous “war metal” of bands like Warkvlt, Black Witchery, Revenge, Nekro Assassin and Archgoat. Much like the latter three bands of this list, they suck.
The drums clunk away on slow blast beats for nearly the whole album, the exception being “Morbid Devil of Pestilence,” which is merely a reminder of how poor the guitar work is. There are no riffs, just repetitive droning of power chords shifting two or three times then repeating, and some occasional noodling that sounds like an amateur with poor phrasing skills trying to pick out a melody. Really, there’s no excuse for such miserly randomness.
The worst part is the vocals. They sound unforgivably goofy, like a comedian trying to imitate David Vincent in an intentionally silly – think ethnic phone prank – voice. There’s no charm to them, like the awkwardly phrased but excellent vocals on Reiklos’ “Lifeless” or Darkthrone’s latest “Old Star,” in a different register. Those sound a bit goofy in a good way, this sounds goofy in a shitty way, like a vocalist in the earlier days of death metal who hadn’t figured out how to growl but tried to cargo cult it anyway. So many amateurs have made charming, memorable, or at least entertaining vocal performances that, while technically horrible, were still nonetheless fun to hear. Teitanblood’s vocals on “Seven Chalices” are just bad and drenched in so much reverb that it makes them sound even more retarded. As in being a literal retard wasn’t good enough, so they had to make him sound like a literal retard that’s both stoned and mashed on a windchime.
The potent amateurism is unsurprising considering that it comes from “war metal,” a genre that prides itself in being as low-fi and edgy as possible, both mostly just devolves into imitating the aesthetics of Phantom’s first (and worst) album “Divine Necromancy.” Teitanblood, of course, doesn’t fail to attempt their most cringey and awkward take on the legendary albeit terrible debut.
Demonecromancy, another Phantaclone band that emerged around the same time, actually matured from their demo years and, in “Fallen From the Brightest Throne,” put out a classic that Teitanblood could only ever strive to be – Teitanblood sounds like a Demonecromancy cover band that couldn’t play their way out of a wet paper bag nor find their way to the second part of a two-riff song by way of transition.
The complete lack of anything to make the music interesting or even memorable is terminal for this “Seven Chalices” album. It’s not atmospheric, the “mood” of it is akin to sitting on a toilet, and there’s no element of the music that unexpectedly grabs you by the balls, something you’ll find in every black metal band that doesn’t suck.