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Review by Justin Joseph

Lunar Chalice – Transcendentia: The Shadow Pilgrimage

Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions

Year: 2022

Rating: 10/10

There is a feeling that I usually crave and search for where the spirit of art is concerned in music, it is that sensation of mysticism and power imbued onto the very notes of the musical composition that is heard. It is like the wood carver who etches a portion of his very soul into that of the work which is created from his hands, for within the very structure may exist a certain energy, so potent that can only be felt beyond the invisible. In other words, the art that one may bear witness to is no longer just an ornate design meant to entertain for a fleeting moment, instead, it is but a portal for the mind to ascend, to bask within its surge of meandering energies of emotions, be it drawn from the waters of flesh-born feelings or something that may seem celestial in its aura.


Lunar Chalice


To paraphrase the late Jon Nödtveidt of Dissection, he said that whenever he held his instrument to bring life to his ideas, it felt as though he possessed pure black magic within his grasp. Transcendentia: The Shadow Pilgrimage” is an album by Lunar Chalice that in my personal opinion fulfills the sentiment of the aforementioned statement, for the very crux of the album can be likened to that of a blackened flame, whose incendiary tongue transcribes such abstract sounds onto the chords upon this release.

Tracks such as Calix Cum Velum and The Astral Stargate are offerings upon the album that serves as the invocation to summon forth an atmosphere so occult-like that it evokes the imagery as though you are amongst the congregation looking upon the altar as sounds take shape to ignite the smokeless flame. The unification of both the strings and percussions forges the bones of this album, as the orphic motion in which both melodies twist itself never feels disjointed, but the chaos that is dispelled becomes the jewel bred from its womb of blasphemy. It may seem absurd, but to me, the instrumental portions can be compared to two serpentine creatures, each different in their own skin and motion, yet they are woven into each other, creating a magnificent beast through its own language in its movement, never overpowering one another. However, the injection of life that is bestowed uponTranscendentia” is the vocal performance, for the duality between the more prophetic voice and the sinister tongue creates a juxtaposition of a soul betwixt worshipping the grand beast and also becoming that which it offers its flesh onto, in other words, there is a certain ritualistic essence to the words that are dispelled, and this acts as the very zenith for the album.

Whenever I recommend the genre of Black Metal to someone who may be keen on exploring its realm, even though there exist the staples that are known, I often also search for the artists that would evoke a more ‘spiritual’ atmosphere, not ‘spiritual’ in a religious way, no rather a transcendental feeling, for I would want the person to experience every note, the very vibrations released, the primordial spirit that lingers, let it intertwine with the senses. Lunar Chalice is a band I would definitely recommend to someone, not only for its musical merits but the method to its architecture, for the very brick and mortar that constructs these halls are crafted naught from feeble notes and hollowed energy, rather it feels like the very breath exhaled from a being of chaos, the words curling from its lips is transmuted into the melodies and hymns echoed forth from Transcendentia”. Simply put, if music can awaken an entity that may be unknown within a soul, to call upon an unseen force to coincide with one’s very consciousness, the pinnacle that is reached can only be described as an ineffable experience…to me, this becomes the most memorable pieces.


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