The German black metal band Lunar Chalice, though composed of veterans, only came together in 2019, but they have wasted no time in making their mark. They promptly released the Walpurgis Dance demo in 2019, and quickly followed that with a pair of EPs — Night Poetry on 2019, and Medieval Cults of Heresy in 2020.
Now the band are finally delivering to us (through Iron Bonehead Productions) their first full-length, Transcendentia: The Shadow Pilgrimage. Even in a thoroughly saturated genre, it’s a frequently astonishing work — as if a gathering of alchemists had turned their magical talents from the transformation of metals to the sorcery of music.
The spells that Lunar Chalice create seem of ancient origin, as cold and mysterious as the moon whose name they invoke, but also frightening in numerous ways, in their jaw-dropping combination of ferocity, imperious domination, and unearthly eeriness, a union of feral hostility and nightmarish elegance. Such qualities stand out in the track we’re premiering today — “Immortuae“.
This new song has deeply penetrating and wholly immersive power. In the opening, a scratchy yet searing guitar carves a sigil of grief in the mind over the low hum of the bass, and ethereal tones ring out like the sonic manifestation of a midnight moon.
The music gradually becomes more turbulent and distressing, joined by vicious snarls, until the drums begin blasting and the riffing cuts like a delirium of knives. Hallowed chants reverberate above the maelstrom, and as the drums steady the guitar slashes, creating an intersection of despair and desolation.
Again, those ethereal keyboard tones rings out, providing an interlude, and the choral voices lead the way into a towering blaze of frightening grandeur, and a final racing conflagration of gale-force riffing, sweeping synths, wailing leads, hurtling and booming percussion, and horrific vocal savagery. The explosive intensity and terrifying magnificence may take your breath away.
Iron Bonehead will release Transcendentia: The Shadow Pilgrimage, on June 1st, on CD and vinyl LP formats. Below you’ll find links for more info about the release, as well as a stream of the previously released track “Calix Cum Velum“.