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Puteraeon may not have stood so tall above their Swedish death metal throwback peers that their debut The Esoteric Order could be mistaken for something 'unforgettable', but it was unquestionably a well done example of how bands like Carnage and Dismember had a magic immemorial about them which is still possible to recapture when you're not spending half your record fucking around with some of the laziest riffs possible. I'm a little late in covering its followup, Cult Cthulhu, but as the Swedes are on the verge of releasing their third full-length I thought I'd check it out, and would you fucking know it, I don't regret making that choice, even if they still leave something to be desired...
I feel like somewhat of a flip-flopper, because this is presented in a pretty common style which I will either love or condemn to the pit of mediocrity depending on nitpicking of individual riffs, and apart from the ravenous, brutal growl of the frontman, it's pretty much lock, stock and barrel worship of Left Hand Path, Life is an Everflowing Stream and Dark Recollections, with the added benefit of being recorded in the 21st century. So those Sunlight studio rhythm guitar tones sound as plump as over gorged zombies, the harmonies sad and sepulchral, the drums fresh and hellish with kicks that sound like they're stomping straight up your spine. But somehow, the chord patterns and abysmal atmosphere created by the churning of the guitars against the drums stir in me the very dark mood I so loved about its overt influences. It's swampy, oblique, and maybe even evocative of the titular Mythos divinity, no matter how corny the title itself seems.
How about just Club Cthulhu? Bathe in a spa of squamous tentacles, stinking maws and other things that spell your end. Anyway, the Elder ones are nothing to make light of, and I doubt that was the intention of Puteraeon, just to write a savage record in the mold of their heroes. And this is no more or less that very thing. Inspired, not inspiring, chock full of guts but very little resonant evil beyond its visceral finish. If you're sick to death of this sort of cutting and pasting of a style (and I usually am), without adding much new to it (Revel in Flesh, Gluttony and a million others), then this isn't apt to change your mind, but I felt like the sophomore was at least well done. Examples of better efforts in this style include the first few Demonical outings, Entrails, the Miasmal and Tormented debuts, but I managed to make it through this brain-sucking 45 minutes with what shreds of my sanity remained failing to find offense in the style. I hope with the new album they'll try a little harder to differentiate themselves, or build upon the past rather than clone it, but this is just passable.
Swedish death metal is a trend that has been repeated countless times and is yet to be manipulated and manifested by more bands in the future. Although many acts simply copy the tasteful tone and crunchy hardcore tinged incursions of Dismember, Grave, Grotesque or Entombed, one cannot doubt that Puteraeon, a relatively young Swedish death metal band are much more dominant over the genre’s aesthetics compared to their peers, as they grasp the sound and deform it, mangling it into several pieces that are not impervious to changes and queerer influences. This is, at least what seems to be the case in their sophomore, ‘’Cult Cthulhu’’. They show that they’re aplomb and open for new influences, although stricter fans will be happy to know that experimentation is not overdosed, and massive, guitar with a spectral touch of brooding melodies are still quite well working, pummelling their way through the listener’s ears.
Compared to their debut, Puteraeon give more room to cathartic expressions and melodies quadrants that form up most of the diversity of the riffs. Awkward, but I relate them to Necrovation as both bands had a change is sound after releasing one rather standard and eclectic piece of Swedish death metal, simple, nonetheless still very strong by all standards. Necrovation came through with a bigger and far more changed sound, adding almost classical overtones into the heavy churning of hostile old school death metal, while Puteraeon simply added subdued melodies under the hefty cloak of chainsaw driven guitars and bass lines, and expanding their tone into a more spacious one, to give off a nice dose of atmosphere. ‘’Necrovation’’, which came out mere months before this album, worshipped ethereal pulchritude and was musically tweaked a lot, but such a huge change is not seen on ‘’Cult Cthulhu’’, although I still a huge sucker for its thickly embroidered spurts of crushing hostility.
I’m simply very content with the release as it did not turned out to be forty four minutes of chugs and furious barking, but it turned out to be a much more intriguing bag of riffs that lasted forty four minutes, propulsive and lurching. You’ll notice a semi-transparent black metal tide flowing over you spectrally especially in ‘’Children Of Dagon’’, while doomy goodness is laid upon absolutely gigantic magnifications of amplification on ‘’The Great Epidemic of 1846’’ and ‘’Liberation’’, sweltering with epic and atmospheric elements, but Puteraeon always make you feel home with classy, chunky attacks from ‘’Flesh Architect’’ or ‘’In The Vault’’ – both as forceful as robust iron hammers. I suppose some of the increased melodies and gloomy aspects came from their increased love for Lovecraftian themes, and to be honest, as a fan of the horror master himself, I found the fresh attributes to be well placed. As a whole, ‘’Cult Cthulhu’’ redeems you from your lust for massive guitars and filters, but it also offers it with slight distinctions, so you’re bored to death. We have so many Swedish hounds now at hand that I honestly don’t know where to keep them, so someone had better find a solution.
In The Vault
The Great Epidemic Of 1846
The Azathoth Cycle