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Yes, 92% is such a high rating. It's actually near perfection. Sometimes, I tend to criticize reviewers for giving an album a high score because they don't have valid--coherent arguments. What is a good analysis? It's all about objectivity and once again, you've all heard about this neutralguy-attitude before. I'm not trying to teach you anything, I just wanted to say that I recognize a good reviewer when he/she develops and elaborates about all aspects and substances of a record. Who gives a fuck how high or how low the score is when it's well defended? I don't really like fanboys and to be honest, I don't have any idols. I also don't have a specific--favorite band, only bands I appreciate more than others. Worshipping a band and it's music--ideology can make you blind and thus avoid the real flaws of their material and finally, distract you from it's real content. Anyway, you know what? Fuck this already, I'm sorry. I'll be a fanboy FOR ONCE, so let me go straight to the point: Sulphur Aeon fucking rules and pulled out on their first try, a gripping, riveting full length, amongst the best releases of our modern death metal era.
Alright, now that I've mentioned how compelling this seems to be, I shall have some criteria's to explain about how Swallowed By The Ocean's Tide managed to entertain me through this whole musical experience. I will go into details soon, but like autothrall said in his conclusion, our German friends are a perfect mixture of old school and modern death metal: yes, you're going to get schooled till the end.
The first thing that picked my curiosity and interest about this record was its impressive songwriting and performance. Sulphur Aeon is not poor a ripoff attempt, like most new wave thrash bands for example. I find that most of them are dull and irritating. They're far from your typical neohipsters ala Beyond Creation. You're not going to find any wankery or a reminiscent dicksucking Suffocation clone who brings nothing new to the genre. I promise you. Somehow in 2013, the band has been able to create their own atmosphere and sound, while grabbing interesting and valuable influences. Without a doubt, they produced something completely refreshing, powerful and epic. Our death metal blender has successfully incorporated variety and vanity. I can assure you that Swallowed By The Ocean's tide is a maritime voyage that you won't forget.
Do you like melodic leads ala Desultory? I fucking love them, and I believe this is a great comparison to the record's guitarwork. Especially on Where The Black Ship Sails, the melodies are great, catchy and delivers the expected bitterness, more precisely, it is an overall, enthralling dark atmosphere which perfectly suits the album cover. Oh and on this one , you'll find some great Dissection influences, aiming towards the direction of songs like God of Forbidden Light. On the track Inexorable Spirits, I enjoyed some great Dismember riffs and when the melodic part kicks in at exactly 0:49, we get more Desultory worship and greatness. This will fucking haunt your head, I SWEAR! The next song, The Devil's Gorge, reminds me of Unleashed's riffing style and Incantation's grooves too. At 1:47, you'll know what I mean, and furthermore you'll understand after the solo transition from 3:07 to 3:29.
On the other side, Sulphur Aeon's vocalist, Martion Hellion, is a vehement, guttural, seastorm. Man, this guy is like a mixed version of Aeternam's and Immolation's vocalists, he delivers a strong, pungent performance. The thick production of this album make him sound really evil and powerful, I can't think of anything similar to this, far from being overproduced, in this case it can't get any better: this is nuts. Also, his pronunciation is surprisingly good, which is something I really appreciate because I can understand the lyrics without staring at the booklets and directly dive into the record's engrossing obscurity.
The guitars and drums are taking most of the space, they're doing nothing bad at all, apart from being amazing, but this is why I took off a few points, the bass is almost inaudible. I would have loved to hear more of what the bass player is capable of and hopefully, on the next record, we will get a more balanced and equal instrument combination. You can tell that Torsten Horstmann is a meticulous guitar player. Perhaps, I'd love the band to get a talented bass player, so now everybody will have its own mastery of their instruments. It will definitely add an important, interesting and shining--missing element that is forgotten on many great records. The bass players will be pleased, they'll be able to enjoy to attend this death metal jizzfest too (but I'm sure they still enjoy this record).
Swallowed By Ocean's Tide is an impressive concept album. It's one of the main reasons why I absolutely dig it. It's a very original effort, both intros Cthulu Rites/Zombi are channelling results, in which the listeners are going through different emotions. When I first listened to the CD, I felt that a spellbinding Leviathan monster was slowly, annihilating and consuming me. And then, after ten songs, a fucking titanic seaboner dropped in my pants, letting me know that I survived this twilight journey, with one of the most memorable guitar leads, combined to a keyboard use that evokes an undiscovered ancient civilization. An hymn and perfect representation of the artwork content.
To conclude this review, Sulphur Aeon's first record is something rare. They went to the right death metal school and their release, Swallowed By The Ocean's Tide, is a 47 minutes of pure, massive and crushing death metal carnage. Sulphur Aeon's work is neckbreaking, this is undeniably memorable and captivating upon the first listen. You must prepare yourself to deal with a sea demon that will unfortunately kick your ass, you'll probably end up buying a new cunt. For real, here's an advice: It's kind of boring to hear about how hell sounds like and how Satan is a cool dude. Some death metal bands should take a few lessons in brutality and aim towards originality. It ain't too late to have take classes with these German metalheads. This is a total, innovative and profound nightmare. The Songwriting and performance are impeccable, the production is killer and the concept/lyrics are amazing. Seriously, you must check this out, I dare you. This is worth your time and investment: give this some spins and it'll become eventually a classic that will constantly keep growing on you. Hail 2013 and thank you Sulphur Aeon, now my hopes went up for what's coming next, bring it on. I want more. You must get your hands on this or else you're clearly missing out.