Chapel Of Samhain // Black Onyx Cave // Album Review


Portuguese death metallers Chapel Of Samhain are set to release their debut album “Black Onyx Cave” via Nuclear Winter Records.

“Black Onyx Cave” is a hefty slab of the most primal bloodsoaked blackened death metal the year has seen. Featuring Black Onyx & Phoros the duo have created a deadly blend of savage music in the vein of Incantation, Profanatica, & Imprecation.

The album’s opener “Charnel” a wall of feedback & tremolo riff blasts open the track. A furious beginning, soaked in distortion right from the track’s first few minutes the COS sounds tight & focused. The production on the album fits perfectly for the style they are crafting, raw but still dynamic & clear.

As the breakdown section of the track comes in the use of a theremin style sound crashes in & gives the moment this chaotic feel that adds another great element to the track.

The following track “Flesh” brings the pace down, a stompy headbanging opener that sets the pace. The guitar tone COS has crafted on this album lends itself to these slower moments. A thick tone can also shine bright in the mix which sometimes is a hard task to accomplish. The drumming on this record also provides a solid backbone to the whole band’s vision. It’s never too flashy but solid enough double kick sections, great deep drum fills & creative uses of crash cymbal keep it an engaging listen.

Bringing the groove into the album “Delirium” is my standout. When the track starts the band is already hooking you in with this hypnotic chugging riff that grabs you quickly. Then within a few rounds of the riff, a grand organ sample kicks in giving it a grand sound & invoking a Fulci film soundtrack feel. Big chords from the keys & organ push in the chorus of the sound which gives it a grand sound & elevates the track to be one badass ripper.

The closing track “Ether” still keeps the energy high! Where most might have a mellow track there is no stopping COS. They are giving you their money’s worth with what might be the most primitive & war metal-like track on the album. Constant blasting sections & interweaving guitar riffs. One of the biggest draws on this album for me is the vocals. Each song has its agony-soaked scream & for a death metal record has a lot of texture & the performance is utterly fantastic. From the very start to the last few seconds on the album it’s full to the brim of punishing & unbridled fury.

Chapel Of Samhain has been able to do something rare with a first release. They have been able to write a very cohesive first effort & already found their sound. It’s steeped in influence but it feels like the group has hit on their brand of dark, depraved death metal. Something hard to find in this modern era within the underground. A truly solid & refreshing debut album.


Review: Guy Williams


Black Onyx Cave is out via Nuclear Winter Records on 18th March 2024



01. Charnel
02. Flesh
03. Pale
04. Delirium
05. Portal
06. Ether

The first single, “Charnel”, is available HERE.

Nuclear Winter Records