Release DetailsLABEL Modern Invasion Music
RELEASED ON 11/25/2003
posted on 1/2004 By:
I find it amazing how diverse some of the material that we get here at MetalReview.com is. It’s strange what a huge range of music gets lumped and associated under the name of “metal”. Enter Chalice: an Australian band that claims to sound like such artists as Enya, Evanescence, and Dream Theater. Seriously, Enya! I would describe them as a somber and doomy, yet folky, gothic rock act.
I’m very rarely exposed to music like this so comparisons will be scant, but they are fronted by one Shiralee Morgan, who is also the primary composer. She’s a trained singer, which is obvious from the start, and sings in an operatic style that reminds me a lot of Tarja of Nightwish. Sean Graetz and Justin Hartwig share the guitar duties, with Justin providing an endless supply of excellent, dreary leads. But what stands out most to me is the heavy use of Alana Probert’s flute. It’s not often that you hear a flute integrated seamlessly into rock music. One drawback I noticed was that even when they tried to step up the heaviness and add some crunch, the mood of the song never really changes, unlike a similar band like Blazing Eternity, who are able to darken the atmosphere when desired.
Now while many of the members of Chalice are quite talented, the songs they composed didn’t have much of an impact on me. I definitely enjoy the great leads that wind their way through songs, but some of the tracks fail to differentiate themselves. Excellent segments, like the flourishing finish to “Winter in the Desert Sky” and basically the whole duration of “Child of the Matador”, are offset by other songs that stretch out far longer than is necessary. Case in point would be the interminable, 15-minute epic, “A Semblance of Sanity”. Their sound isn’t expansive enough to develop the kind of rollercoaster ride needed to hold the listener’s interest for a full quarter-hour.
Augmented displays a band that has the capability to produce a sheer work of beauty, if they tighten the screws a bit. The result here is a pleasant, relaxing, mellow album with above-average musicianship that fills in the silence for me, but does not demand much more than that. If intrigued, proceed on towards their website for a few full mp3s.
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