“Flame of Truth” From Chalice Collective
“Flame of Truth” from Eastern-influenced musical/theatrical act Chalice Collective is like nothing else I’ve heard in 2022. The collective’s artistic leader, creative director, vocalist, and songwriter Sedona Swan Soulfire, has a firm grounding in dramatic training courtesy of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, but her true foundation runs deeper and much broader. Much of “Flame of Truth” and the rest of the band’s act serves the idea of self-realization, healing, and transformation much more than prodding listeners to dance.
Don’t get me wrong, however. Making people get up and dance isn’t a bad thing and there’s no doubt that Chalice Collective’s “Flame of Truth” will motivate you to move. The enchanting rhythms, the transitions between patterns, and the warm robust synthesizer/keyboard attack come together to make one of the most impressive musical experiences this year. Chalice Collective carrying such a powerful message along with it is all the more pleasing.
It’s a message open to interpretation but many will hear it as a vigorous depiction of how life’s larger and unadulterated truths can cut through our pain, our disappointments, and so on. It is in the truth we find healing, reconciliation, and growth. It could be a heavy-handed message in the hands of a lesser artist, but Soulfire words the lyrics in a suggestive and poetic fashion that gets under the listener’s skin.
Her vocal delivery has a welcome elasticity without sacrificing its power. Its natural power is not inflated by overdriven production or special effects, and all but the hardest of hearts will respond. She is as responsive to the arrangement, adjusting her voice with the music whether it is the spoken word or vocal passages. Backing vocalists Chakaara Bliss and Ayla Realta contribute mightily to the fine finished product.
Sequencers, synthesizers, electronic drums, and keyboards are abundant throughout the song. This doesn’t mean that they are the most prominent feature of the song though as careful listening to the composition shows how balanced they are with the vocals. The arrangement takes several unexpected turns along the way. If you stripped the vocals from this song and left it an instrumental, it would still merit listener’s attention as the musical merits are considerable.
The single, however, scarcely does them justice. Chalice Collective is an act meant for the biggest stage, in my opinion, because it’s virtually impossible for a small venue to encompass its range. Fire dancers, embodiment artists, and multimedia are among the other facets of the Collective’s artistic vision and it seems a given that experiencing the Collective’s talents in full is the way to go. However, “Flame of Truth” will have to do for the time being – and it “does” rather well.
Let’s hope we hear more from Chalice Collective in the near future. They are writing, recording, and releasing work no one else is addressing at the moment and, as such, there’s a real opportunity to build a substantial audience. “Flame of Truth” is an excellent building block for them and provides solid evidence that there are even greater achievements to come.