without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I feel more and more impressed and inspired by what’s going on in the Chilean scene (as well as in some other South American countries like Brazil and Peru), seeing the great number of dedicated maniacs who run killer fanzines (Crypts of Eternity shreds! Compilation of Death shreds even more!) or labels, not to mention some fantastic bands, which I had a chance to get to know recently – like Diabolical Messiah (which I think is the best Chilean band I’ve ever heard!), Demonic Rage, Communion, Slaughtbbath, Atomicide… and of corpse also Unaussprechlichen Kulten, which was one of the first Chilean bands I’ve heard of (but I’m speaking of the newer bands from this country; I don’t mean the old crews like Toten Korps, Pentagram or Atomic Aggressor whatever…). I think I’ve heard of them, when I saw an advert on Blood Harvest website, announcing the release of some vinyl. Then I’ve got somewhere their split CD with After Death, which turned out to be just killer, but only recently I finally managed to got the chance to purchase a copy of “People of the Monolith”, which I took without hesitating and surely I don’t regret that, as the CD turned out to be really solid and worth listening to. Besides, once again I must applause the way Proselytism releases their albums. Before that I really felt astonished by their work, which they did on the amazing “Satan Tottendemon Victory!!!” of Diabolical Messiah and here on “People of the Monolith” the whole artwork and the way this album was released is equally amazing and special. Again it comes in the 7”EP size cover, which you fold out and can see great picture of the band, even better picture of desecrated figure of christpig… and inside, within a very nice, Lovecraftian frame there are all the lyrics… Really, I do appreciate the whole effort Proselytism does to make their releases special and unique and they really are such. It’s a shame only that they’re quite difficult to obtain here in Poland, but whenever I have luck I do buy them without hesitate. Definitely this is one of the most thrilling labels at the moment for me.
OK, but let’s back to Unaussprechlichen Kulten and their “People of the Monolith” album. I actually would really like to listen to some of their previous stuff as well, as I never had any chance to give a listen to either any of their many demos or the debut CD “Wake Up in the Night of Walpurgis” from 2005. A shame really, but I hope I’ll have a chance to fix it at some point. But for now “People of the Monolith” is enough to satisfy the hunger for some brutal, obscure and morbid death metal. Unaussprechlichen Kulten has stuck totally in the classic death metal style, mainly from the American scene and surely they do take bands like Immolation, Incantation, Goreaphobia, early Vital Remains, Morpheus Descends, Sadistic Intent, Disgrace, Grave and quite a lot of early Suffocation as their main influence, which is very fine for me, if you ask. Don’t think of them as a bare copy though, as it would just be stupid. Those Chilean maniacs have been smart enough to get everything done in the only proper way and really played this music with passion and dedication. And yeah, the effect is just massacring and really if you dig those bands, which I mentioned they you must give Unaussprechlichen Kulten a listen. The music is BRUTAL, the music is MORBID and it is utterly DESTRUCTIVE, composed of many killer riffs and great, deep growling of Joseph Curwen. On top of all that I just worship the atmosphere of this recording, as it is truly macabre and eerie, invoking the ancient rites of ghouls… and of corpse the band is hugely influenced by the works of Lovecraft and I really love that atmosphere they create here. But the music… well, as I already written Unaussprechlichen Kulten really did great job on this album and even if they may not be discovering any new planets on the universe or whatever, then who would care? I don’t even wanna hear any experimentations on such albums, just plain and sincere, traditional death metal sound. And whether Unaussprechlichen Kulten plays it in slow, almost doomy way or makes it so fast that the walls collapse, I always enjoy it. And those fast parts are actually dominating the album. And for dessert you’ll find here a cover of Sadistic Intent (“Conflict Within”)… Aarrgghhhh!
OK, the album may not be the most thrilling I’ve ever heard, especially after I was completely devastated by the amazing Coffin Texts or Nominon LPs, but still I just cannot resist those sounds and hail the band for doing a great work. Give me so more, uurrghhhh!
Well, it seems we have a new contender for South American death metal supremacy! Previously, Brazil laid claim to that throne by continuously pumping out maddeningly delightful death-hymns from Krisiun, followed by the mighty and under-appreciated Abhorrence, Rebaelliun, Nephasth, and then new-schoolers Horned God, Angerise, and Escarnium.
However, Chile seems to be on the upswing, with a pair of bands catapulting the country to the top of the heap: Godless and Unaussprechlichen Kulten. This review will concentrate on the latter of the two.
"People of the Monolith" is the 2nd full-length release by Unaussprechlichen Kulten, released by Proselytism Records on CD, but in a very-very-cool 7" ep packaging. Judging from the song titles and band name, it is not that difficult to figure out that this band is very hip to H.P. Lovecraft's tales of cosmic contortions.
The production of this album is great; this is exactly what I like hearing from underground death metal (or death metal in general....). The sound is clean, the instruments are well-recorded, and you can understand everything that is going on. Yet, despite the clarity, there is an undeniable atmosphere and vibe to the music. This is deep, dungeon-y death metal, taking you through a dark, lumbering journey along paths paved by the likes of Immolation, Incantation, Autopsy, Carcass, and old Suffocation and Morbid Angel.
The only downside of the record, production-wise, is that the drums are not mixed loudly enough; a lot of the tom-tom rolls and cymbal hits get lost behind the wall of guitars. It makes for a unique sound and a distinctive mix, but I personally would have liked the drums to be a little bit more out-front and discernable. However, this is NOT a horrible-sounding mess of a trash-can album, so do not take this as such. The guitars simply dominate the mix; you may find this to be to your liking. It's purely a subjective observation.
Musically-speaking, as I said before, this band draws heavily on the lumbering, hefty bulk of bands such as Incantation and Autopsy, but also incorporates equal amounts of speed and dissonant riffing, ala Immolation and Dead Congregation. For those hip to the current underground leaderboard, THE WAKEDEAD GATHERING provides a great reference point, as Unaussprechlichen Kulten makes great use of the dissonant chord riffing and tension-filled stylings that can be found on The Wakedead Gathering's masterful debut full-length "The Tenements of Ephemera".
The one thing that I like about this record, also, is that there is a very loose, live feel. The band is not sloppy, but they are not Pro-Tools-edited tight and mechanical; there is a very live, vibrant, organic vibe between the instruments. This is a huge bonus, as it really makes the music come alive as a living, breathing entity, rather than just a collective of instruments recorded separately, in isolation, and then combined later.
I must also note that this is one of those records where, upon first listen, you definitely like it, and its enjoyable, but each time you come back to it, it rewards you with new details revealed that you didn't pick up on or remember during the previous listen. Each time you spin the record, you like it more and more. It makes more and more sense each time, and it just keeps growing on you, like fungi... (from Yuggoth... *cheesey HP Lovecraft reference*).
All in all, this is an excellent fucking record that any fans of death metal is sure to enjoy. There is speed, there is mid-pacing, there is doomy riffing, there is dissonant chording, there is deeeeep death growls, there is plenty of occult atmosphere, and the record is just the right length to keep your interest throughout the whole thing, but still leaves you wanting more.
For fans of Incantation, Immolation, Autopsy, Dead Congregation, Vasaeleth, The Wakedead Gathering, Adversarial, Grave Ritual, Grave Miasma, Carcass, Rottrevore, Beheaded, Severe Torture, Cannibal Corpse, Godless, Deicide....