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DEATHEVOKATION - The Chalice of Ages
Título: The Chalice of Ages
CAT. #: XM 044 CD
Formato: CD [61:03]
Estilo: Old School Death Metal
Edición: 02.2007
01. Rites of Desecration
02. Acherontic Epitaph
03. The Monument
04. Embers of a Dying World
05. The Chalice of Ages
06. Infinity Blights the Flesh
07. Carrion
08. Chunks of Meat
09. As My Soul Gazes Skywards
Increíble debut de ésta banda de Death Metal de la vieja escuela proveniente de California!! Este álbum se convertirá en un clásico al instante!! Para amantes de DEMIGOD, ASPHYX, BOLT THROWER, UNLEASHED... Más de una hora de una auténtica obra maestra de puro Death Metal!
The Metal Observer Webzine (can) 22.02.2014
The last time I was actively DJing on an online station the debut from California’s Deathevokation got a lot of spins. Unfortunately, multiple hard drive crashes later they were forgotten. Then I saw their name on the promo list and though, “Oh, yeah! Those guys rock!” Of course, I was figuring it was new material, as the name of said début had escaped me. When I put the album on, it ripped as I expected. I can’t say it sounded familiar, but my research immediately told me why it definitely rocked. Regrettably 2007’s The Chalice of Ages is the only full length it seems we will be getting from the now defunct company.

Deathevokation play death metal of the old school variety. However, that’s as far as I can pigeonhole them, and even that is iffy as there are occasionally some shades of black, ala deathier Aeternus, in the longer more atmospheric tracks. You have more straight up non-regionally specific death metal tracks (“Acheronic Epitaph,” “The Monument”), the aforementioned atmospheric tracks (“Embers of a Dying World,” “The Chalice of Ages”) and then tracks that really run a wide spectrum of metallic styles. Especially the stand-out “Carrion,” which has doom interludes, mixed with pure raging death metal, and portions where that death just pushes to the extremes with chaotic frantic, off timed riffing and solos. Guitarist Brian Shuff truly is a master of the riff, and I would love to see what he’s up to today. His potentially not being active is definitely a detriment to metal.

There really isn’t a stinker on this album. The Chalice of Ages though covering a lot of styles has an incredible progression as it starts off with the more straight forward death metal tracks then moving into the more atmospheric, doom-laden, tracks then back to finish with more straight forward death (their interpretation of Antropomorphia’s “Chunks of Meat”) with the epic closer “As My Soul Gazes Skywards” being the exception. The death metal, though overall non-regionally specific without a doubt wears its influences on its sleeves. There are clear portions with a more Floridian sound, others where you might recall Master, and yet other sections you’d think were clearly from a European troupe. All combined with a melodicism, though not in a way you’d call this melodic death, but more closely aligned with Avulsed or Intestine Baalism.

Unfortunately, it appears that I only received half of this release in this promo. As I initially went to publish this review I finally saw some press on it and found out that it’s supposed to be 2 discs with the second being the rest of Deathevokation’s recorded material. I really am going to have to get ahold of that and maybe I’ll have to add an addendum to this review. However, I still absolutely recommend this releases full material of a band that is probably gone too soon. I really think this album should appeal to death metal fans of all shades, and every discerning fan of metal should give it a chance. I know I’m glad that it returned to my attention, and I’ll not be forgetting them this time.
Bear [9/10]
Metal Temple Webzine (gre) 31.01.2014
DEATHEVOKATION was, unfortunately, one of those great bands with massive potential that simply eventually fell between the spider web cracks in the factory floor of the timeless steel mill, which is Heavy Metal. Their one album, "The Chalice of Ages" was originally released in 2007 and has been re-pressed by their record label; a chance to be thrown back into the underground limelight for cult fans to feast on. The Death Metal found on this record is by no means generic and does not solely rely on sped-up instrumentation to demonstrate a hellish soundscape.

"Rites of Desecration" is an example of how evil-sounding, Death Metal can get, incorporating perfect amounts of Black and Doom Metal. The production is clear, yet brutal, with all of the instruments cutting through in full force. The vocals are a true talking (growling?) point on this album; unedited, organic and powerful with a deep-seated, emotive fuel. This album is already feeling like a throwback to iconic, underground Finnish legends DEMILICH. "The Monument" is a megaton monument of a track, this time much more thrashy for the most part, with crushing and aggressive riffages that hails the likes of SLAYER. One of my favorite things about this track were the sudden transitions to slow, Sludgy Doom-like passages, which were periodically dragged out of the slime by chaotic guitar solos.

The title track begins as the slowest track on the album, showcasing impressive lead guitar work with soulful, melodic whines that invoke a deathly-grey world. Powerful Death growls beckon a picking-up in tempo which is announced in pulsing drum rolls and the track takes on an all-new heaviness, artillery-fired by spontaneous runs of lightning blast-beats. "Carrion" stood out as my favorite on the record, which ventured even into the realms of melodic death metal, while still smashing out DEATHVOKATION's special blend of brutality. Beginning with a chilling acoustic passage, many moments in this track's riffage takes me back to the old days of 90's ARCH ENEMY, with aggressive and thrash-like riffage, fleshed out by harmonized lead licks.

I used the word unfortunately earlier, because I felt like I would have been a fan of this band's hypothetical future records, because this one was a true gem that didn't see enough of the light of day (or fires of hell).
Daniel Fox [9/10]
Unholy Cult Webzine (usa) 22.12.2007
Perhaps the most difficult thing to express on an album is atmosphere. Some bands rely on movie samples to suggest horror, porn, or gore, but the best are able to convey occultism or malevolence for the fact that they live and die the music even amidst naiveté. “Morbid” is an aura that gets right under my skin like a flathead screwdriver forced under a fingernail. Recordings that embody this sense of gloom are ‘Consumed By Darkness,’ ‘The Eternal Fall,’ ‘Dark Recollections,’ ‘The Rack,’ and ‘The Chalice Of Ages’ by Deathevokation. Now, I know that you’re looking at the first four albums (‘The Eternal Fall’ is technically an EP) and going, “Mike, wait, those are all recordings from 1990-91.” And you’d be right, but Deathevokation is an aberration and an anachronism that musically manages to recreate the past in the present without rewriting history in that prophesied Orwellian theme.

Beginning with “Rites of Desecration,” it is apparent that Deathevokation play Death Metal in that hallmark method born of the late 80’s to early 90’s featuring mid-paced riffage interceded by brilliant moments of Doom. Each track on ‘The Chalice Of Ages’ is arranged superbly between mid-tempos, steely shots, melodic moments, and terse violent guitar solos that duel with flashes of 6-string weeping. Precise pulsations of automatic fired riffage accentuate tracks in fast sections that express moments of portent like passing a slow car while going round a swooping mountainside curve. Grandiosity pervades songs in warlike moments of harmonized double guitar salvos. Melodic parts never seem like filler, and they give off a frightfully ominous vibe when swooshed over by chugging riffs. Harmony leads dive and spiral against harsh acerbic snarling vocals. Bass fits into the mix brilliantly as it flows in a distorted mass of beefy rhythm like a hook shot to the liver. Drums are stalwart with double bass implemented to transmit speed and agonizing darkness as per traditional method first used by Death Metal’s gods. Essentially, Deathevokation has used the blueprint spun by the foremost bands in European Death Metal to create ‘The Chalice Of Ages,’ an album that retains far more musical maturity and dexterity than most debuts offer.

The sublime thing about ‘The Chalice Of Ages’ is that it never seems banal. Literally, this is the type of album that will almost never leave a CD changer. Songs segue into one another, but this doesn’t make for a choppy transition even when Deathevokation slithers into a cover of Antropomorphia’s “Chunks of Meat.” Longer songs are nearly hypnotic in a musical vividness that carries ears through valleys of attunement, waves of velocity, and a genuine rustic demo laden class, that reeks of Death Metal roots. Compositions are brilliantly filled with enough incredible breakdowns, hooks, and leads to make listeners dust off their air-guitars for shredding daydreams. Most incredible is that manifest morbidity is never lost throughout the entire CD. “As My Soul Gazes Skyward” encapsulates this theme in painful, almost ballad-like ghostly despondency, via a smattering of unrepentant riffs undercut by melancholic piano, and soaring croaks bemoaning the powerful line, “An eternity of nothingness.”

‘The Chalice Of Ages’ is a time machine that takes me back to my teen days where I’d endlessly peer at a tape booklet to the point of memorizing lyrics, thanks list, and recording info. Even the booklet smells creepy what with black and white photos of tombstones offset by band images in gloomy catacombs. But what is especially cool is that Deathevokation is authentic. These guys seem to live and breathe Death Metal and they are able to transmit that lifestyle onto a musical highway. Hopefully ‘The Chalice Of Ages’ is the beginning of a long legacy of profound morbidity and crushing riffage for friends and fans to hear perpetually.
Mike Lidia [9/10]
Hyperblast Unverse 'Zine (indo) 15.11.2007
Gathering influences from bands such Asphyx, Unleashed, Demigod and enriched by good modern production, excellent killer artwork Deathevokation rise to captures the essence of ancient masters of old school death metal which is dark and morbid. The band has bring those feeling back to era when Nuclear Blast loaded with tons of pure death metal bands, era when leather jackets, long hairs and spike still identic with the death metal bands which now become to be some of black metal performance image. This is about epic cult riffing with its solo and triplets picking, the tone set in good long sustains, heavy and middle-ish character in the vein of Bolthrower sound. The vocals is harsh and dirty like they eat baby for the launch time. The dynamic drums and syntheizer intros has add the atmosphere of cult more real...this is where death metal begin.
Ferly [7/10]
Burning Misery Webzine (hol) 28.10.2007
Feb 2007 XtreemMusic and Deathevokation released a new sick doomy/melodic kind of deathmetal record. Deathevokation begun their way in the scene as a band in 2005. And it's pretty cool to see that they only recorded one demo and an EP before this high quality full length deathmetal album. They also appeared on a sick split album with their "Blood demo" named Altar of the Old Skulls with two other known bands for me called: Mandatory from Germany and Kingdom that is based in Poland. Haven't heard that split album or demo but if it's the same kind of material they have recorded for this full length then it's definitely some shit that I got to listen. If they told me that this is some early release from the doom metalers Paradise Lost I also believed it.

The doomy atmosphere above this disk got much from the Lost Paradise album that has been released way back in time on Peacevile records. But Deathevokation is not only playing those depressive doom that will make you kill yourself parts but here and there they also got an up-tempo and even blast beats moves on this unbelievable good album "The Chalice of Ages". And it's pretty much the same for the production, all instrument are mixed perfectly and i can only say that it's superb. Believe me that this is some serious and tight fucking deathmetal from the Californian deathmetalers Deathevokation. So for the fans of the early Paradise Lost and the newer melodic deathmetal: this is the shit for your cd collection. Click on the link below and check them out on myspace where you can listen to some advanced mp3 files. Just take the change and I'm positively sure that you going to like this band Deathevokation with their new album The Chalice of Ages!
Marco [5/6]
RockTotal.com (spa) 01.04.2007
Hace un tiempo un compañero mío en esta web, Juanma Rubio, me habló muy bien de este grupo. Conociendo sus gustos musicales, supuse que iba a ser un buen grupo, pues ambos disfrutamos como críos con los sonidos añejos del Death Metal, tanto americano como europeo. Unos meses después de aquella conversación cae en mis manos el debut de esta banda americana, con sonido muy europeo, DEATHEVOKATION y no puedo más que mostrar mi satisfacción ante el descubrimiento de este buen grupo.

El estilo de este joven grupo está muy bien definido desde la primera nota. Death Metal de los inicios de los noventa, con un mayor apego por la escena europea de aquellos años. De esta manera, escuchando “The Chalice Of Ages” por encima, a uno en seguida le vienen a la cabeza muchos grandes nombres. Por poner una pequeña muestra, el debut de los americanos tiene un poco de todo: la oscuridad y las melodías de las bandas seminales del Death finlandés, es decir, los primeros AMORPHIS, FUNEBRE, DEMIGOD... el sonido sueco de UNLEASHED, GRAVE, los primeros ENTOMBED... el groove y la intensidad de BOLT THROWER, GOREFEST, BENEDICTION... resumiendo, nada nuevo bajo el sol, pero tampoco se necesita innovar cuando tantos grandes nombres vienen a la cabeza tras la escucha de este debut. Muchas bandas quisieran tan siquiera recordar lejanamente a alguna de ellas.

En consecuencia, todos aquellos que estén ansiosos por escuchar un añejo, arquetípico y estimulante Death Metal clásico, tendrán en “The Chalice Of Ages” una pieza, extensa pero muy bien aprovechada, para disfrutar como nunca, porque la calidad de las composiciones de DEATHEVOKATION es muy alta, y como saben bien que renuncian a la originalidad desde un principio, se centrar en recrear el sonido del que beben a la perfección, sin ocultar estas influencias ni si quiera en las vikingas fotos promocionales del grupo. El resultado es un disco largo, demasiado extenso diría yo como único punto negativo, pero tremendamente poderoso y capaz de hacerte perder la noción del tiempo durante más de una hora de buen Death Metal en lo más amplio y tradicional del término.

El sonido, al igual que la música, recrea la época que trata de imitar, por lo que DEATHEVOKATION se ha esforzado por conseguir una producción cruda y oscura, pero adaptada a la técnica de nuestros días, evitando sonidos maqueteros innecesarios. Sólo les falla el invento en un tema, el propio “Chalice Of Ages” donde la batería tiene una producción un poco deficiente, ya que en pleno ataque de blast-beats los platos se comen al resto de instrumentos, pero es un pequeño detalle sin importancia teniendo en cuenta que el disco en general derrocha buen gusto por el revisionismo no sólo de composición, sino también de ambientación.

El tema instrumental viene presidido por dos elementos fundamentales: una sección rítmica que queda integrada a la perfección, compacta, poderosa, imprescindible en los medios tiempos y en los cortes de ascendencia más Thrash, y unas guitarras que derrochan oscuridad en forma de solos muy inspirados y melodías que estarán presentes en todos los temas del disco de una forma magnífica. La voz recrea la guturalidad profunda y enigmática de muchas de las bandas europeas citadas con anterioridad, en perfecta conjunción con la música y con la intención de homenajear a una de las épocas más prolíficas en bandas y trabajos gloriosos en la historia del Death Metal.

El único punto negativo viene de la mano de unas estructuras un poco largas en ocasiones. Condensar en nueve temas más de una hora de música no está al alcance de muchos, y aunque la calidad compositiva de la banda consigue que el disco sea digerido sin problemas por los amantes a estas sonoridades, puede que con el tiempo se acabe haciendo un poco más difícil acabar de escuchar todas las composiciones. Aún así, el disco se mueve por terrenos donde la contundencia, la intensidad y el medio tiempo, colchón ideal para las oscuras melodías de ascendencia finlandesa, son los predominantes, si bien, las largas estructuras combinan muchos elementos y cambios de ritmo en su ejecución. Por poner un ejemplo, “Rites Of Desecration” tiene la capacidad de sorpresa propia de ser el primer tema del trabajo, pero también gracias a una labor de guitarras excelsa, donde se concentra algunas de las mejores melodías de todo el disco, y donde la profunda voz de Götz Vogelsang (no cabe duda de que sus orígenes no son americanos, por lo que no me extraña las influencias de este grupo) más brilla.

Pero sería injusto no resaltar otros temas enormes, tanto en extensión como en calidad: la pegadiza “Acherontic Epitaph”, donde la sombra de GOREFEST aparece en nuestras cabezas gracias a un groove adictivo y a unos riffs sencillos pero efectivos. Esa joya que es “The Monument”, una de las que más recuerda a la escuela sueca en una onda muy UNLEASHED, cargada de ritmos Thrash y de riffs entrecortados ante los cuales es imposible no desmelenarse; una onda que se volverá a repetir aunque mezclado con un medio tiempo más marcado, volviendo a la mente la banda sueca ya citada, en “Carrion”. Tras el ya citado tema título del disco, también nos encontramos con otro de los temas más llamativos del trabajo, “Infinity Blights The Flesh”, uno de los más variados, que combina la rapidez y agresividad, con el aura tenebrosa de las melodías y los medios tiempos. Finalmente, los más de diez minutos de “As My Soul Gazes Skywards”, con introducción acústica incluida, condensan melodías de belleza absolutamente mortuoria, cargadas de oscurantismo. Un tema largo, pero para nada pesado, gracias a una estructura muy bien pensada que combina elementos muy variados, incluyendo un piano que ayuda a añadir ese toque de oscuridad helada que rodea a la composición y poniendo punto y final a un trabajo más que notable.

“The Chalice Of Ages” supone un disco muy notable teniendo en cuenta que es el debut de una banda. Auténtico Death Metal en el sentido más “true” del término, pero imprescindible para todos los que amamos las atmósferas de este estilo en sus inicios. Una oda al final de los ochenta y comienzo de los noventa, en plena eclosión en Europa del Metal muerto. Una maravilla para degustar lentamente y a fuego lento.
Raúl Ureña [8.5/10]
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