MASTERY was founded by guitarist Markus Armellini in Toronto. With no luck finding a vocalist that could compliment the intensity and aggression of the music, the band’s debut, Lethal Legacy, was unleashed as an instrumental in North America in 2006 and in Europe one year later. Following the release, MASTERY toured the States extensively. It was at a show in Austin where the band met legendary vocalist Billy Milano of M.O.D./S.O.D. Combined with Armellini, drummer Mike Harshaw, bassist Tim “Tank” Casterline, and lead guitarist Kelly Fitzsimmons, MASTERY is finally ready to scorch the ears of unsuspecting metallers globally.
Posts Tagged ‘Mastery’
For those that have a short memory or just have not seen it, I did a review of Pale Chalice‘s EP Afflicting the Dichotomy of Trepid Creation, and was blown away by it. So I had to come up with some questions to pose to the band, and Oram Evam got back to me with some answers. Enjoy.
What are the origins of the name Pale Chalice?
We shot around quite a few names for a while early on. This was one we liked yet set aside only to come back to later and eventually embrace. I don’t want to dig too deep into to what it means per say, as it is intended to strike and idea of semi-abstract imagery and be left to interpretation. There is no real set definition behind it nor are there any rules to how you would choose to perceive it consequently.
How long have the individual members been making music for, and how long has Pale Chalice existed?
Pale Chalice has existed since approximately late 2008 but didn’t really end up becoming active until the beginning of 2010. During the time lapsed in between there were several periods of dormancy for us, the result of member issues and conflicts of interest with some of the other persons we had attempted to involve previous to the final line up. As to the extent of everyone’s individual musical carriers, that’s a little difficult answer amicably. Each one of us has been “making” music arguably since our early teens, for some of us that has been a little longer than others. Everyone else in the band has other musical endeavors going as well, the least of which is our singer, who has multiple one man projects (Mastery, Pandiscordian Necrogenisis.) I on the other hand use up most of my effort on Pale Chalice. Pale Chalice is the pinnacle of my musical focus.
Who is the primary song writer, or is Pale Chalice’s music a team effort?
I am the primary song writer for Pale Chalice although the process via which each song is completed varies somewhat. Usually I have a vague to sometimes precise general layout for the song in mind with the riffs on hand. We usually jam through it consecutively to find out the way the song plays best. Quite a few changes end up being made often, and at times I have thrown out chunks comprising the majority of a song. Once the general format is laid out and drumming has been mapped out along with the riffs, there is quite a lot of polishing that takes time to achieve and a lot of 2nd guitar tweeks. In the end everyone ends up having a significant involvement in the final product. Lyrics are a mix of stuff I have on hand and material our singer orchestrates for it, all of which tends to mesh very well.
Your lyrics are much more than the standard Satan, Satan, Satan. What are your main lyrical inspirations?
I don’t think there is much inspiration for our lyrics drawn from other musical acts. I know that for myself I am lyrically more inspired by authors I admire than by bands I listen to. I don’t necessarily want to speak for our singer but I think this is somewhat true for the works contributed by both of us. I feel like our lyrics range form a Lovecraftian inspired internal psychosis to a Hawkins inspired universal fatalism. Our lyrics are not meant to be interpreted literally in any sense; they are fairly abstract and intended to be perhaps confusing at times. Although there is usually a point to be made by the lyrics in a song there is not an over all message we are trying to convey and one should not dig too deeply in attempt to intemperate the said meaning behind any one selection of lyrics as the relevance of it’s ideas may very well be lost on any but the author.
How about the music; are there any bands in particular that inspire your music?
This is a difficult one to answer especially since everyone in pale chalice has their own musical obsessions that very greatly form person to person and from time to time as well. I fell like there is a lot more internal inspiration to our music than external especially in regards to our newer material. If some one were to listen to Afflicting the Dichotomy of Trepid Creation and take a guess at the bands we were inspired by when constructing the music they would probably be right. It is vague at best to try and give a direct answer because you internalize what you hear and enjoy in the music of others and what ever inspiration you derive from that comes out in a strange and uneven mix of all of these things, at least I find this true for myself. I think the inspiration behind the creation of Afflicting the Dichotomy… came really from what we wanted to here, not so much what we liked hearing in other bands but the music we wanted to hear played.
What bands or albums are the main influence on the members of Pale Chalice in regards to getting you into metal to begin with? How about black metal specifically?
In regards to metal in general I couldn’t say. There was never really one album that dragged me in, it was just all around me for as long as I can remember back and my involvement with it has waxed and waned multiple times over the years. One black metal album that I remember really striking a chord for me when I first really gave it my full attention was Darkthrone’s A Blaze In The Northern Sky, though I doubt one would ever hear this in Pale Chalice. Since that particular musical encounter there have been different albums that have kindled my interests higher or inspired me more but the list goes on and on.
What are the long-term goals of the band?
Pale Chalice will exist as long as we feel what we are doing adheres to a certain quality. The only long term goal that comes to mind is to keep making music as long as it continues to progress and grow; I have no intentions to carry Pale Chalice past the point of the music becoming stagnated. If more people come to recognize and/or appreciate what we are doing as well, then I would be pleased but I doubt that either praise or criticism would have much bearing on what we create.
Are there any extensive plans for touring?
There are no extensive plans as of now, we will be active pursuing more distance shows but as for touring outright I couldn’t say exactly what’s in the cards right now, we’ll just have to wait and see.
What is the most memorable part of being in Pale Chalice so far?
For me it is the ongoing process of taking what was once simply an idea, bringing it into reality and watching it evolve into something that is considered to be of noteworthy connotation.
On the gear side of things, what kinds of effects are you using for the guitars and bass? Are there any vocal effects being used?
There are virtually no effects. During the last recording and occasionally live there is a small amount of delay on some guitar leads, this is only to help them stand out a bit. Bass usually has some distortion and a very small amount of gain was given to vocal tracks on Afflicting the Dichotomy… because we didn’t want anything to sound too crystal clear, this is after all black metal. Although we aren’t screaming into a blown pair of headphone speakers in lieu of a vocal mic there is a certain genre-appropriate aesthetic we’d like to adhere to.
Are you “brand men” or does any instrument that makes sound work for you?
Once again this varies with each member and I apologize up front for not answering this more clearly but I don’t have any desire to endorse any particular brand on any public forum especially ones that do not endorse us and I’m doubtful that any ever will. If you were to find one of us in person we would gladly discus away our thoughts, feelings and/or preferences on musical gear down to the most minute of details.
What other Flenser bands would you recommend for Pale Chalice fans?
This is tough, Jonathan has put out some real quality records and has an excellent ear for music that needs to be out there. The new Necrite record is great and I think that they, like us, help comprise what seems to me to be a resurgence in the Bay Area of black metal bands that perform live on semi regular basis. I can tell you that when I first got the Palace of Worms album (The Forgotten) I could not stop listening to it. Those songs are just really well written and fucking awesome. I told Balan this and he thanked me although true to form he proceeded to dog profusely on how some of it turned out, but I seriously disagree with him, I think that album is a milestone. Bosse de Nage is another one to check out, either on record or if you are afforded the rare opportunity to see them live as well. I know this is going to sound cliché but if you pick up any Flenser release really you are going to find something of quality. If you take into the account the relatively short list of releases it doesn’t seem so far fetched. Flenser isn’t a large enough label as can afford to put out shitty music which works out great for everyone.
And finally, that old classic, is there anything else you’d like to throw in?
I’d like to send my regards out to Ancalagon of Crebain and the other members of what was once Horn of Dagoth, I think it’s worth mentioning that without the existence of the Horn and the involvement myself and our singer had in it, the connections that would later help comprise the core line up of Pale Chalice might never have happened.
San Francisco heathens Pale Chalice, the latest acquisition to The Flenser‘s blackened roster, have finalized the details to their debut EP, set for CD and digital release on March 8th, 2011.
Recorded at Death Midi Soundlab by Navene Koperweis (drummer for Animals as Leaders), the expansive four-song Afflicting The Dichotomy Of Trepid Creation EP captures nearly half-an-hour of this fairly new yet wholly ripened act’s honed, black metal skills, bearing more content and gritty traction than many full-length releases from the genre we’ll see released throughout the coming year.
Propagating intensely memorable yet brutal riffs, devoid of filler, the band’s lyrics are dark and abstract, with influences which range from introverted psychosis to dimensional anomalies.
The outfit that would become Pale Chalice was born as 2008 was dying off, essentially bearing three founding members: Oram Evad, Masthantric Nodrab and Baneist Nonrutin. A plethora of bassists and vocalists persisted through the years, until early 2010, when Ephemeral Domignostika (Mastery, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis, ex-Horn of Dagoth) and Grobahn Huv were added as permanent members.
While a great deal of touring from Pale Chalice is not planned for the immediate future, the band are capable of annihilating live audiences as the desire, having already provided live support locally for internationally touring acts such as Watain and Goatwhore, as well as local favorites and now lablemates Necrite since they took the act live in the Summer of 2010.
Stay tuned for more details on the upcoming EP, sporadic live actions and more on Pale Chalice throughout the coming year
Afflicting The Dichotomy Of Trepid Creation Track Listing:
1. Transplant Of Dimensional Recourse
2. Command of the Formless
3. Caressed by a Feeble Flame
4. Ascend the Idyllic Sphere