Tuesday, September 30, 2014

1349 : "Massive Cauldron of Chaos"

When you have been around since 1997, you are entitled to go through some changes. This album might please some fans who did not like some of their more experimental moments on albums past, but they have still not returns to the traditional first wave of Norwegian Black metal. What grim old timers might frown upon is how this albums sounds good and is loaded up to the gauntlets with catchy riffs.

'Cauldron" opens the album as in your face as you can get. The drums hammer at you head like a migraine. This becomes another case of the opener bowls you over with it's intensity, until it is hard to imagine the band being able to keep it this hard hitting for the duration, without devolving into noise. The album holds a similar hateful streak as the last Hod album I reviewed on here not too long ago, so if you liked that one then skip the rest of this review and give this a listen.

The riff to "Slaves" is so slick it's almost rock n roll at time and very much holds a thrash bent in the tight palm muted attack. The chorus of "the slaves shall serve" is delivered in varied degrees of snarl.The drums are not only giving a rapid beat down  but they are very precise and not at all sloppy with blast beats tripping over themselves from the momentum like some bands. There is a pretty straight forward stomp to "Exorcism". The double bass flows like lava underneath it until they blow up into blasty mcnastiness.

In places "Post- Mortem"  has more groove than I remember these guys having, not to the extreme of pussing out like Satyricon.  In fact  it surprising how often they hit a place that sounds like the cross over days of punk and metal, than anything resembling say Darkthrone. They play fast but don't default to blast beats. Harkening back to the 80's the guitars are tight with the thrashing. Slayer is one of this album's predominant influence. The monstrous drumming helps to further force this into your face and shove the songs down your throat. Normally this would be too straight forward for me but something about whats happening works here. They cling to similar pacing on "Mengele's" an ode to the man who earned the name Angel of Death. The vocals spew forth with a renewed scathing to them. They way the chorus hit's it reminds me more of Deicide.

The band launches full force into the speed demonics of "Golem". This makes me wonder if the WWII themed titles are intentional. The lyrics are audible within the throaty screams, but not to the point where the lyrics really leap out at you, unless he goes into more of a croak. It wasn't until the bass break down on "Chained" until I realized I was no longer listening to "Golem". "Chained" has more inventive guitar playing than the previous song, though they are not trying to break a whole lot of new ground. The octave chords that accent the verse riff are pretty fucking cool.

 They rival Immortal's most epic battle gallops on "Godslayer". They are not indulging into much fantasy with their occult imagery, but have a passion for being this pissed. Listening back to this one a few times I can hear the "Show No Mercy" era Slayer ghosts haunting this chapel of ghouls. The creepy spoken vocals are a nice touch and keep the fury well paced. They keep with the 80's thrash theme by covering a Possessed song. Of course they pull this one off and pretty much nail it to the cross.

I will give this one a 9 as it's pretty much what you see is what you get thrashed out black metal, which at times is a little too straight forward for me to imagine cranking this for the rest of the year, but I have gotten several good listens out of it already.

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