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I guess one of my jobs, as an experienced reviewer and metalhead is to try to recommend some of the best bands and albums around, so you can avoid the shitty ones. Every review is of course an individual thing, not everyone will always like what I like, everyone has different tastes and preferences, one may like vanilla ice cream and someone else likes when his girlfriend pisses into his mouth. But when there are times like now, when the number of old styled Swedish sounding death metal bands have increased all expectations it’s good to read some opinions and see if the band X is worth anything or it’s better just to avoid them. Here’s one Swedish band, which I definitely want to recommend to you, if you want to listen to some killer tunes.
Well, I guess many of you will know Puteraeon anyway by now. This band has released a couple of demos in 2008 and this first LP, “The Esoteric Order”, came out in 2011. But somehow, even though I’ve got this blue coloured piece of vinyl, dressed in blue gatefold back in the day when it was released, I never had a chance to write anything about it, I do so now. And trust me, this LP is definitely a must to have, if you’re into this sort of music. Puteraeon doesn’t give a fuck and just slaughters with death metal frenzy, digging up some graves and shagging the fresh, smelly corpses with a lot of enthusiasm. There’s really no time wasted on “The Esoteric Order” and each of its eleven songs will make you bang your head and visit the graveyard nearby to get some meat for the supper.
All the ingredients, which Puteraeon used for their music, are well known and used many times before. If you’re into groovy riffs, or maybe those, which will just crush you instantly, especially when they’re played in very fast tempo, or if you prefer the more harmonious parts, then “The Esoteric Order” has all that in offer. I can even find some traces of Autopsy influenced death metal goregasm. There are a lot of references to the old school death metal scene from Sweden: Grave, Entombed, Desultory, old Hypocrisy or Centinex… You know them all well. There are also many similarities to the bands, which play this sort of music nowadays like Ribspreader, Entrails, Nominon, Intestinal, … Fuck it, but that doesn’t disturb me at all and I still like “The Esoteric Order” a lot, as this album has many absolutely fantastic and killer tunes. Riffs, like the one, which opens “Experience Zombiefication” is worth to die for, I just love this melody a lot! Basically every song on the album has some hooks, riffs, which will stick with you for whole day and release a huge dose of energy to blow the whole house down. “Graverobber”, “Coma”, harmonious as hell “The Innsmouth Insanity” or ravaging “The Plague” are some of other favourite songs of mine. Puteraeon really nailed it; they have a great ability to compose brilliant songs, with powerful riffs and I also must say that the production of “The Esoteric Order” is simply excellent. In many ways this band reminds me Entrails – both bands has similar enthusiasm I think and both resurrect the classic Swedish death metal equally successfully. Maybe not all songs are 666% killer, such tracks as “Re-Animation” or “The Extraordinary Work of Herbert West” are slightly more boring, but really, really slightly, as they’re solid anyway.
Are there any weaknesses on this Puteraeon LP then? No, not really, maybe the vocals could have been better. Especially when “Storms Over Devil’s Reef” begin they sound quite weird, but after a while I got used to them. Anyway, I would maybe prefer to hear a deeper growling here, something more powerful. Uh, and there’s one more thing, which I will curse Puteraeon for and which will make them die in torments. Fuck, why haven’t they put all 13 songs, which are on the CD, on the LP?!!! The vinyl has only 11 tracks and that sucks cocks together with the balls!
Standout tracks: “Experience Zombiefication”, “Coma”, “The Innsmouth Insanity”
No matter how many generic death metal bands are out there doing what Grave and Entombed did twenty years ago, I find Puteraeon’s debut full-length The Esoteric Order a crushing album that indeed doesn’t offer anything new, but satisfies the needs of old school Swedish death metal fans - that is, if you’re not stuck with only the originals.
The Esoteric Order offers a heavy load of 13 tracks laden with rumbling - sometimes almost doomy - guitar sound and generally slow or mid-paced battering. Tracks like ”Whispers of the Dead” are exceptions when it comes to the tempo, that example having one of the only fast blast beats of the whole 56-minute package.
There’s almost nothing innovative about the riffs that follow the path of their influences very closely, and while I respect the loyalty to the original style, one hour is a tad too long running time. ”The Innsmouth Insanity” compensates a bit, being an instrumental that includes some evil clean guitar sound too. Still I think that reducing maybe three or four songs would have made a more enjoyable and less dulling experience.
In spite of all the negativity expressed in the paragraph above, that doesn’t take away the sheer power of the riffs. Also, the production is top-notch, even if some old schoolers could complain about its modern touch. All this, plus the Lovecraftian artwork that is to my taste, makes The Esoteric Order a nice album that I will be spinning every now and then in the future, so that three stars are certainly deserved.
3 / 5
[ http://www.vehementconjuration.com/ ]
Puteraeon is yet another round-up of semi-successful Swedish death metal musicians into a decisive act of old school worship, and yet they once again prove that the style has legs to stand on, by effectively crafting hostile hammers of crushing tone and thick, pungent atmosphere. Bands like Tormented and Ribspreader are good references, because they have a similar approach with the enormous production standards used to modernize their libations to the gods of the genre: Entombed, Grave, and Dismember. You've heard this all before, but when its delivered with this much loving brutality, you're going to find it difficult not to at least smile...until your knees rupture and your head bends off your spine from the sheer, bass-heavy gravity of The Esoteric Order.
These gentlemen have a lot of experience in bands like Taetre, Immemoreal, Nominon, Inverted and Thorium, so it's not out of left field that they know how to lay down a pure smack down like it's 1991 all over again, with all the tools now available to make those pure Swedish guitar tones thicker and even more wretched. Tunes like "Graverobber", "Whispers of the Dead" and "Dead Once More" make it impossible not to lurch around like an animate corpse, and the bristling leads and overall, thick as molasses atmosphere to the record make it a total package of derivative but delightful darkness. The lyrics revolve heavily around the HP Lovecraft Mythos and cult/campy horror flicks, so it's safe enough territory for the pulp loving misfit who attends zombie walks while not alienating those who seek Indecent & Obscene Pt. II or Clandestine: The Musical on Ice.
I've heard this style performed so many times now that I'm almost fed up with it, but these bands love this shit and obviously there are fans devouring it straight from the bowels of antiquity. But think of it this way: if bands like Entombed or Grave had time machines, they would have jerked their cult classics forward to the future, smothered them in this ominous tonal largesse, then transported them back to make even more jaws slack in the early 90s. Old dogs with a few new tricks, indeed. Fortunately, The Esoteric Order is yet another in those long lines of exceptions, so despite its lack of intricate tweaking, it's the equivalent of an addictive, crunchy snack. You think you're through with the bag, and can put it aside for later, but you've just got to reach in and consume one more. Just one more archaic sounding Swedish death record. One more. Really...I mean it. Well done, Puteraeon.