Massive Cauldron of Chaos

Written by: EW on 29/10/2014 23:04:55

If there’s one thing that can be said for the recorded output of True Norwegian Black Metallers © 1349 it is certainly a willingness to morph more from album to album than a good portion of the BM landscape, Norge or otherwise. Sure, yes, they are still very black metal and unlikely to ever pen a ballad, but sixth album "Massive Cauldron of Chaos" is as different in structure to "Demonoir" as that was to "Revelations of the Black Flame" and so on. This makes for an interesting approach and an eagerness to explore results that here highlight a mighty influence from the fastest reaches of 80s thrash on the blistering tempos kept by Frost & co. Through "Postmortem”, "Mengele’s" and "Chained" the band darken the already bleak templates of prime 80s thrash fodder for a variety of riffs which repeatedly scythe and puncture the conscience without ever straying into the oft-heard black/thrash territory espoused by Aura Noir and the likes. Mind you, turn down some of the treble from these compositions and soften the blackened croak of frontman Ravn and the resulting fifth gear speed frenzy leaves you with something approaching classic speed/thrash compositions performed to a very enjoyable standard.

Aside from the failed experiment that was "Revelations…" 1349 have always focussed more on sonic extremities rather than traditional atmospheric coldness to make their point and in this mindset does "Massive…" rest. Clearly intending to act as a descriptor, the album title I feel actually works better for the band’s "Hellfire" era as there is a pleasing/unappetising (depending on your black metal predilection) degree of certainty about even the most rocketing sections of this album than what the band were capable or willing to engage with earlier in their career. The softened production helps the 38 minute timeframe whizz by and in the likes of "Slaves" this comes from tremolo formed riff patterns that could easily have been culled from classic thrash cuts like "Bonded by Blood" and "Hell Awaits”. Rather than merely providing a pastiche of thrash influence "Mengele’s" provides a scintillating colder rhythm section and flashing solo while "Godslayer" leads with a thumping bass-led opening salvo of Frost’s drum-pounding reverting to fairly generic BM tonality in the slower mid-sections.

By utilising clean lead riffs woven within the templates of "Slaves" and "Godslayer" 1349 have dropped subtle markers to their positioning in the wake of where Satyricon have trodden in recent years. Granted, this band of Frost’s press the accelerator considerably harder, but there is an accessibility about the relative friendliness of the structures that will have the true BM factions crying tears of corpsepaint throughout the lands. These factors will not push the genre into any new territories, nor even offer the most noticeable Norwegian BM fare of the year with a new Taake album round the corner but the technically astute performance of these eight energetic tracks at least ensure the record is a credit to the notable performers involved.

Download: Slaves, Mengele’s, Godslayer
For The Fans Of: Marduk, Gorgorth
Listen: Facebook

Release date 29.09.2014
Indie Recordings

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