Empty Chalice – This way is called black

Published by Alessandro Violante on March 9, 2016

empty-chalice-this-way-is-called-blackThe act of approaching power electronics music for the first time is similar, in terms of experience, to that (for a passionated lover of the so called “classical art”, including in this categorization art until XIX century) of visiting an exhibition that hosts some of the most considered Contemporary Art artworks. The observer / listener will feel disoriented and incapable of understanding the deepest meaning of what he’s in front of, because its communicative codexes are very different from what he usually listens to.

A sort of non music, some have said, but, to put it simply, is a very particular musical form that express very strong feelings and sensations in a way, in a certain way, more direct if we think at some technically very considered music. It’s, as in the case of Empty Chalice, a musical manifestation of a flow of consciousness finally freed from the inner prisons, that shows itself with an undescribable brutality, as when we store tension inside of ourselves and, in the right moment, we violently throw it away.

This way is called black, finally released on 30th January 2016 by CVLMINIS after very long troubles, is, at the same time (in terms of release date), the first and the last Antonio Airoldi‘s album (of whom we recall his debut signed with the Gopota monicker, already reviewed on this website), an album that, musically, can be put in the italian power electronics cauldron, although it has its own personality as far as some “melodic” choices and a very particular use of the noise flow are concerned, while, conceptually, it represents the straight externalization of his condition, a depression that has thrusted him towards the search of the “evil”, graphically expressed by the black front cover, that, however, inside also shows the white colour, as his music isn’t monolithic, but always put between tensions and loosenings, a common principle shared by several acts of this genre. It seems that noise has its own life, sometimes holding the breathe until the suffocation, sometimes breathing out the whole, nervously and cyclically. The flow is nothing more than the musical representation of who creates it and, then, the musician sometimes hold his discomfort and sometimes breathes it out.

However, This way is called black isn’t definable in so simple terms, as the ideas presented in it often (and luckily) transcend what we could define as a “simple equation”. The titletrack, that opens the album, begins with a noise flow that doesn’t know brakes, upon which a devilish sampling inserts itself, which role is to express a whirlwind of sensations and feelings that who face a complex situation experience (as well as the samples storms is complex), to, then, leave space to that alternation described by us some sentence above. You knock on the cross presents another inflexible and violent noise flow that has in it the energetic punk spirit that goes hand in hand with the inflexibility of the noise flow. Here the musician speaks about the will to destroy the opposites, and this is the result of the complete lack of answers and of comfort that the cross (the religion?) has offered him, and this frustration here clearly emerges. Here, the stabbing distortions seems to be compared to violent and straight electric guitar riffs, until a noise “play” emerges that almost seems to evoke the sound of an ambulance siren (does this have to be intended as an aid request?)

Distant sun, instead, changes the music coordinates presenting an engaging and constant rhythm put in the background, upon which, afterwards, an alienating synthetic construction inserts itself, a sort of sad and annihilating “melody”, a rather particular episode. It’s possible to talk about that alternation described above also for Nebel XI-II-MMXV. It’s a song that describes an important moment of the musician’s life, in which, into its flow, it’s possible to listen to the whirlwind of emotions and feelings expressed in the agitated noise flow, the fast rhythmic that recalls the fast and excited heartbeat and the random sonic explosions that represent the peak of a rare experience that the musician has inside of himself, but the most particular songs of this album are, undoubtedly, Blue instill and Ibex, very strongly linked with each other, as the second emphasizes the noise component of the first, this last one characterized by a slow, annihilating and close to dark ambient cinematographic rhythm, also characterized by the presence of particularly dark shades. At the end of this sort of journey there’s the final song, Wievil bis du bereit zum sterben? (How much are you ready to die?), an ending thought that musically is represented by an harassing cacophonic “straight” flow, close to the punk attitude, in which, below the thick noise fog, a glimpse of “humanity” can be perceived, and this question perfectly links itself with the beginning of the album, not easily allowing the listener to take the CD out of the player.

This way is called black is a very good release for an artist that succeeds, in a genre as power electronics is, in finding his own musical vision that surely has to be perfected, but rich of deep meaning (as well as Gopota’s music was). Empty Chalice is, undoubtedly, an artist that can only improve his skills.


Voto: 7, 5