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Blood Chalice

Their debut album ‘Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction’ of the Finnish black metal band Blood Chalice is not for the weak hearted. The immense chunk of hatred and aggression that is displayed on this devastating debut album is unprecedented proportions. I think Finland could be happy that their countrymen of Blood Chalice channel their hatred and rage into this form of art, otherwise Finland would definitely not be one of the happiest and peaceful countries to live in. We talk with singer Pessi Haltsonen about their album ‘Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction’.

By: Dennis | Archive under black metal

Hi guys, I recently reviewed your new album ‘Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction’ and I have to say it was a tough record to get into since it is so extreme, but once I got it, the aggression became really addictive, and I really enjoyed the album. How have the reactions been so far on the new album elsewhere?
The aggression is really addictive and once you really got into it there’s no turning back. I find it really boring to play anything else than violent black/death nowadays. Anyway, the reactions and reviews have been surprisingly good so far. I know Blood Chalice is not the easiest safe-space music but many listeners seem to find the red line in our audio violence. I have always considered Blood Chalice as a live band but with the debut album we were able to bring the same euphoric feeling into album.

The sound on ‘Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction’ is so much better than the recordings on your demo 2016. How did you record the demo, was it more of a rehearsal recording than a proper recording?
The demo was recorded and mixed at our rehearsal place by our guitarist H.V. The soundscape is raw, filthy and ugly because we wanted it to sounds as raw as it is in rehearsal place. The demo made sure for everyone that this is nothing nice and beautiful; this is death worshiping satanic black metal.

The demo was released as a cassette and later as a 10’ vinyl by Helter Skelter Productions. Did you sell a lot of copies and are there any copies left to buy?
The demo was first released as a cassette by Signal Rex. It was 100 copies edition which was sold out fast. Before Helter Skelter’s vinyl press Morbid Bastard Records released cassette repress of 50 copies. Those were also sold out in a blink of an eye. Now we are waiting Regain Records/Helter Skelter to release vinyl and cd version of the demo.

Can you tell us something about the recording process of ‘Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction’?
Even though we were proud of the demo’s soundscape it was clear for all of us that we will need a professional sound guy for the debut. Archgoat’s album “The Apocalyptic Triumphator” just got out and its sounds and tones crushed your soul to pieces. It was recorded and mixed by Teemu Velin. We asked Teemu to do mixing and recording for our album as well. Working with him was very easy for he got fresh ideas and understood what we were looking for. Almost every instrument and vocals were recorded as a one shot. Accurate playing is not the thing. It is all about the atmosphere and feeling. Personally I can’t fall into altered state of mind with the lyrics if I pause it time after time. The whole recording process was very pleasant and quickly. Everyone knew what they were doing. That’s how it should work. Too much stories of bands going to studio to practice.

Before you guys had Blood Chalice you were playing in different bands like Retaliatory Measures and Torture Killer, bands with quite a different style. How did you end up playing such aggressive and pulverizing blackened death metal with Blood Chalice?
It was the beginning of 2015 when I and VP.L decided to go jamming in the band’s rehearsal place. We already had a couple of bands in which we played together, but there was something missing. I had always known the black flame is blazing inside but it needed a chance to burst out fully. We didn’t decide or talk about what we are going to play. We just started to play and felt into dark state of ecstasy. VP.L played drums and I was guitarist/vocalist. After a couple of months we felt that we needed a proper guitarist and bassist. I heard H.V was into black metal and his guitar skills would easily fit for Blood Chalice. Soon after H.V’s joining he and VP.L asked T-P.I to annihilate bass tones. This must be guidance from beyond because there is the same black flame blazing in every of us. Darkness hasn’t ever been thicker.

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Where do you draw your influences from and what is the main idea behind Blood Chalice?
I guess that influences are easy to hear. Bands like Conqueror, Behexen, and Beherit have created a path that is blacker than anything else before and we follow that path with pride. Composing new songs is all about the feeling. Bands mentioned before have their influence but we don’t try to sound anything but the hate we possess. Blood Chalice is a ritual that leads us deeper into the core of darkness. It channels hate and rage into music. Otherwise they would just burst out recklessly.

From the press release and from the album titles it is clear that Blood Chalice has a profound hatred against Christianity. How important is it for you to channel your hatred against this religion of weakness?
We support freedom and chaos. Christianity along many other religions is against them. Religions are enslavers. People have been too blind for too long. No reason to speak sense anymore. Now there’s left nothing but hate. That limitless hate has created every single note in Blood Chalice. This wasn’t our conscious choice. Hate channels itself. We are vessels.

I noticed on promotional pictures you guys are covered in blood. What message do you want to send out with these pictures?
Blood is a life elixir. It is beautiful and terrifying in the same time. It represents power, creation and destruction for us. We are in the war against anything weak and sacred and will feast on the blood of heretics just to desecrate them. Black metal is not just music; it is more. Our promo pictures only purpose is to cause fear and disgust.

The album cover for ‘Sepulchral Chants of Self-Destruction’ is not new, you have used this drawing for a t-shirt design two years ago. I figure you liked it that much that you are using it for the full length record?
The album cover has been its main purpose since it was created. We didn’t want to haste with the debut album so we made a pre-album t-shirt. It was only a small batch of shirts for good friends and fans. I don’t think it draw down too much of its efficiency. The picture anyway suits perfectly for us and for the title. It was made by artist called Pahapasi Fhtagn.

Can you explain what we are hearing in the outro ‘Bestial Unification’, besides screaming women and bleating goats?
You are hearing my sexual fantasy, goats fucking nuns in the glare of burning church. I had a vision of this unholy orgy and H.V captured it perfectly. Perhaps he has some strange fantasies also. Meanwhile priests are having sex with choir boys, I’m sure that nuns must have a thing with bestiality. It is a shame that speakers can’t produce smell. Intense smell of blood, shit, sweat and smoke is missing from it.

So the new album will be released on 18 February of this year. What else is in the planning for Blood Chalice? Is there any chance we will get to see you guys play live in The Netherlands any soon?
Almost everything is open for this year. We have a couple of gigs coming up in Finland but that is all. I’m pretty sure that it won’t take long till we will unleash our black mass in the Netherlands. Our aim is to do gigs worldwide, especially in places where black metal is not having such a role like in Europe. Blood Chalice is definitely a live band and every gig takes us closer to the ultimate darkness so we will continue until everything else is gone.

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