There are a lot of things to process regarding Pale Chalice. First of all is the band’s love for a thesaurus when constructing album and song titles. Approaching the band’s debut Negate the Infinite and Miraculous could possibly come with an audible sigh looking through each of the song titles. This sort of density which comes attached to black metal can be exhilarating as much as it can be exhausting. The fact that Pale Chalice exceeds expectations, to the degree they do, is a marvel given they were already starting out out with a handicap. Negate the Infinite and Miraculous is a furious black metal exploration which approach the subject matter from various and dangerous angles.
I want to reiterate the ability for the band to explore heady black metal with flowery lyrics and still succeed. The real opener for the record “Shaking Nerves and Vacuous Spheres” climaxes with a set of croaked lyrics over minimal instrumentation and something about duality. The song is ever in danger of becoming silly if not for the dip back into competent instrumentation and genuine talent regarding song construction. Pale Chalice for all their flirtation with the inane manages to make Negate the Infinite and Miraculous an absolute pleasure to listen to and gives me hope for more bands to continue to explore subject matter which is seemingly endless with interpretation.
I want to be fair to a band which seems to have an aesthetic already hammered out. Steve Peacock, aka Ephemeral Domignostika, has been establishing himself in an array of west coast black metal projects. Place Chalice is perhaps one of the most successful in terms of concrete direction. The cover for Negate the Infinite and Miraculous is a gorgeous print with hypnotic golds on a field of sepia tones. If anything can be said about Pale Chalice is their ability to surprise and ultimately ensnare attention.