In times like these, do you also want to escape the harshness of reality without neglecting its very existence? Maybe even observing the power of fear embodied, the potential for chaos we experience, from close range, but nonetheless securely enjoyed in the safe space of the imaginary? You might be utterly captivated by the unknown and its presence intensively felt. So behold! I will convey to you the greatest ”pleasure” you can have with the embodiement of boundless evil this year: the mighty Sulphur Aeon and their newest sonical take on the Cthulhu -mythos of Lovecraftian lore. Melodic Blackened Death Metal at its most diverse and potent!
”Cast yourself into the darkened waters and be swallowed by the ocean´s tide”.
The ocean is a striking example of the age old fear of the unknown. A space unexplored and overwhelming, even though situated here on earth. In the farthest reaches of this abyss, there is only darkness. It offers a fleeting experience of an absolutely unknowable realm. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu resides here, a rich source for any artistry depicting all things overwhelmingly powerful and fear-inducing. A source that the West German band has used consistently and with great praise since their founding in 2010. It is now honed to near perfection in the chosen musical style with this latest work. With a track record of already three full-length masterpieces ahead, that says a lot.
Not quite as massive and brutal in its penetrating power throughout, ”Seven Crowns And Seven Seals” is all the more epic in scope and diverse in sound. One look at the beautiful album cover, designed by none other than Paolo Girardi, is enough to realize how much broader the chosen artistic palette on this complete work is. The seven tracks and 46 minutes of music on this album are still heavily characterized by their impactful use of angular riffs and ferocious blast beats, refined layers of melodies, dense atmosphere and triumphantly chanted choruses, but by integrating ethereal acoustic guitars, subtle synths, tinges of goth and lush leads it achieves a much more long-lasting effect. A new balance without neglecting the sheer power, they are able to evoke. This pushes the replay value easily to new heights. Maybe eye-to-eye-level with Cthulhu himself. So beware, you might go nuts about it!
To give a reference: while there is still a lot of Behemoth, Immolation, Morbid Angel, Dissection and Emperor to be found in their sound, and they blow the aforementioned bands out of the water with their mix of styles nowadays, it is the mutual influence with their friends of Chapel of Disease that now shines through, making the difference. They start to transcend genres: solos worthy of Pink Floyd, post-punk wavering chord breakdowns, oriental leads and so on. Just check out the title song and you will know what I mean.
The year 2023 has already been a mindblowing year for Death Metal! With very strong releases by genre legends (Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Incantation, Cryptopsy, Obituary and the upcoming new Suffocation and Autopsy albums), underground masters and upstarts (Tomb Mold, Fossilization, Reverence to Paroxysm, upcoming Cruciamentum etc.) and everything that 20 Buck Spin, Dark Decent, Me Saco Un Ujo, I,Voidhanger and Willowtip have released and still will release. Pretty unbelievable.
But you shouldn´t miss this majestic gem of cinematic metal. And you won´t. It is the complete package. It will creep into your mind, seduce you with its power and twisted melody, pulling you away from reality towards the unknown. Stop! What is this? There is something… Do you also feel this presence?…Wait, is there any safe space after all…