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Poisoned Chalice > Poisoned Chalice > Reviews
Poisoned Chalice - Poisoned Chalice

I Am The Shadow Scrawled Across Your Wall At Night - 79%

CHAIRTHROWER, May 17th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2022, Digital, Independent

It was during the Sun King, Louis XIV's illustrious reign - particularly, the affair of the poisons which involved numerous aristocratic personages accused of planning regicide, a crime whose extreme punishment instills spinal shivers - that a hardcore method of assassination consisted of force feeding a poor toxic toad arsenic to point of bursting, whereas the unfortunate creature would be smacked senseless within accursed goblet, its vile urine coating said receptacle; thusly primed, it could send up to fifty souls to the afterlife (despite thorough rinsing, making such plot all the more diabolical).

Enter California's newfound power duo, Poisoned Chalice and its brief, yet poignantly rocking, self titled four track EP - here's hoping drummer Ben (of Begotten, formerly with Serpent Crown) and s(tr)inger Calvin (of Anti-Hero) somehow integrate the above twisted lore into eventual full-length imbibement.

At press time, we've the latter's crunchy-as-Hell guitar tone and rambunctious riffing to assuage our proclivity, commencing to rabid tune of "Death's Right Hand", the swamping skins of which thwack with the resonance of a thousand mallets, whilst vocally, PC's tenor proffers a clear and concise slipstream of rough harmony, a betrayal of general lyrical simplicity for which, wildly spiraling solos aside, we're left nodding vigorously, especially when this opener reverts to a considerably more evil disposition before segueing, serpent-like, back to initial straightforward form. "Poisoned Chalice" proper begins with a scruffy, downbeat tumble and ever-shaking, sleazy feel giving way to loosely jiving drums, compounded by Calvin's roguish wails, as well as gonzo fingered lead foray liable to leave skid marks on everything but your underwear.

Shortlived boogie-er "Wastin' Away" yields a golden state surf edge, alongside bright singsong refrain perfect for highway cruising down State Route 1 at mellow speed, whilst 'Sculpted Angels" bounces back with grit, not to mention liquid smooth riffery meant for business. As Fred Savage yawped as a nerdy little gob in 1989's The Wizard, "We're going to California!".