If you were to listen to Death­evokation’s “The Chalice of Ages” without knowing anything about it, and were asked to guess where and when it was recorded, I highly doubt your first guess would be California, 2007. This album, in the vein of old-school death metal, sounds like it could have been recorded in Finland in the early ?s. It would fit alongside Demigod or Adramelech, with their style of creating a slower, evil atmosphere, as well as dark riffs and tones.

In addition to being old-school death metal, there’s a lot of doom influence and even some thrashy parts here. The slower tempo, the sinister feel it gives off, and the vocalist’s style really give this album its doomier edge. However, it’s still death metal so it can get just as fast and brutal as the rest of them. “Infinity Blights the Flesh” is a perfect example of its intensity, as well as the prominence of melody and ­harmony. The entire album has a great combination of melody and thick, crunchy heaviness. Listen to the title track and you’ll notice the perfect harmony between elements.

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The songwriting is top-notch; the album doesn’t get dull once during its 61 minutes. It’s hard to make a death metal album that long without getting repetitive, but Deathevokation manages it. Three out of the nine songs clock in at over eight minutes, and they’re probably the best here, even if they flow together a bit awkwardly. That could be said for the whole album, but you can’t tell because you’re so drawn in by its vehemence.

A plethora of delicious riffs, creative drum patterns, and stunning harmonies prove that the instrumentation here is great. Every sound fits the music, except for the bass, of course, since it’s pretty much nowhere to be found. The production does an impressive job, with a hint of that gritty, muddy sound fans love from death metal while still being clean enough for all the separate melodies to be heard clearly. Doomful, menacing, vicious, all while being strangely dulcet, “The Chalice of Ages” has something for just about every fan of extreme metal.

Want death metal with some brutality? How about some slow, brooding doom thrown in for good measure? Melody and an evil acoustic passage or two? If so, you’ll find something to enjoy here.