Deathevokation - The Chalice of Ages - (9/10)
Published on February 22, 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.