2013 was an interesting year for Middle Eastern Metal music. While there has always been a small scene over in that area of the world, this year saw a number of bands come forward with releases that were good, and some great. Seeds of Iblis and Theoria come immediately to mind, and now we have Jordan’s Chalice of Doom entering the fray with their new LP, Into Hypnagogia. Chalice of Doom plays Doom/Death Metal that is much in the vein of old My Dying Bride, Mourning Beloveth, Chorus of Ruin, and Eye of Solitude. I happen to be a big fan of dark and atmospheric music that has an element of heaviness and brutality. When it comes to that, Chalice of Doom definitely delivers. All of their songs have an underlying heaviness to them, sporting nice guitar tones that have a lot of warmth and a hefty bottom-end. The songs also have plenty of atmosphere, incorporating piano, acoustic guitar, clean male and female vocals, and even flute to heighten the somber and dark mood where necessary. Add to all of that a strong sense of melody and you have music that is both memorable and listenable. Songs like “Bridesmaid of the Woods” and “Dyers of Dusk” are top quality tracks that can stand up against the best in the genre. I’ve listened to this album almost a dozen times and I’m still finding interesting parts that I didn’t notice before. Chalice of Doom is definitely a group to look out for. Given 2013’s crop of solid releases by bands in the area, the Middle East may be an emerging scene that will become a major player in years to come.
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