Ashen Chalice – Spells Of Eternal Sleep Guide Us Towards The Casket [Croatia, Raw Black] (2017)


Self Released | 08-01-17

Ashen Chalice perhaps has the trifecta of cool titles which hover around the newest release. First off all the project name is super cool. Second of all the album title is entrancing in its wording. Third and perhaps most important is the Bandcamp tagline of “May Nature Guide You On Your Path Towards Self Destruction.” With all of these in place, Ashen Chalice dives into the sometimes uneven world of raw bedroom black metal.

To be honest, Spells Of Eternal Sleep Guide Us Towards The Casket is not perfect even with the modus operandi of raw black metal. The songs wander and stop halfway through while the interludes are confusing at best. there are times when I question whether or not I even like this type of music before realizing that I perhaps love it too much. At the end of the day, Ashen Chalice and artists like it, channel raw aggression and make soundscapes which work and feed into a weird need. The vocals for “Endless Void Over The Amethyst Altar” are powerful as they shout over trailing blast beats. Paging through the back catalog for Ashen Chalice reveals a library full of strange and alien soundscapes all which speak to an audience made up of a few. whatever this Croatian artist is doing, they are doing quite well.

It is of my opinion that Spells Of Eternal Sleep Guide Us Towards The Casket is not for everyone and I probably would not recommend it to anyone trying to get into raw black. It has almost no crossover appeal, drags a bit during the two main tracks, and I am not 100% positive of what it is trying to do. What I am sure of is its effectiveness in peeling back a few layers of skin and burrowing deep inside which lies on the border of annoyance and unbearable pain.