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Unaussprechlichen Kulten - Häxan Sabaoth review



Reviewer:
8.8

29 users:
7.17
Band: Unaussprechlichen Kulten
Album: Häxan Sabaoth
Style: Death metal
Release date: February 2024


01. Lamia Sucuba
02. Cuatro Velas De Cebo Infantil
03. Our Almighty Chthonic Lords
04. Hexennippel
05. Dho Hna Formula
06. Back To The Mother Hydra And Father Dagon
07. Die Teufelsbücher

As the hellish artwork (inspired by the 1922 movie Häxan) suggests, Unaussprechlichen Kulten perform witchcraft, for that is the only way they could have released one of the densest death metal albums of this year, with a bazillion riffs and solos per minute.

It sucks when life gets in the way of checking out and writing about new music! There are some upsides when writing a review over 3 months after the release date, though. First, it is easier to not get lost in any sort of hype. Second and more important, once you catch up with current releases, you can compare the album with what has been released since. Said comparisons favour Unaussprechlichen Kulten.

Celebrating 25 years of existence, Unaussprechlichen Kulten can count themselves as one of the more experienced and long-standing acts in the Chilean extreme metal scene. Their first two albums, especially their sophomore People Of The Monolith, saw the band performing a more immediate, brutal style of occult death metal with hints of black metal thrown into it. The short lengths of these albums (27 and 22 minutes, respectively) even hinted at some war metal leanings. But it wasn’t until 2014 that they got their big break. Unaussprechlichen Kulten released Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath through Iron Bonehead Productions, a label they are still partners with. This was when things started to get interesting with Unaussprechlichen Kulten; the band developed more complex songwriting with vibrant guitar solos that gave intriguing nuances to their oppressive, cave-core take on death metal. They doubled down on all these things with their following releases, as much as I enjoyed their previous album Teufelsbücher from 2019, I think they are reaching even greater heights with this year’s H​ä​xan Sabaoth.

What makes Unaussprechlichen Kulten stand out is their ability to pull from so many different styles with so much ease to create perfectly balanced songs. Death metal is obviously the main course here, but black, doom, thrash and even heavy metal are used profusely as condiments to enhance the dish, I mean album. Very few bands pull that off and pass it as a coherent piece of music, but these Chileans have mastered the art of sounding both old-school and forward thinking at the same time. In that sense, Unaussprechlichen Kulten reminds me of the more contemporary acts Suffering Hour and Bølzer, although if you were looking for an older point of reference then I’d say The Chasm are a better comparison. Just like the aforementioned acts, Unaussprechlichen Kulten has riffs and solos for days. Normal bands would spread their most majestic solos and most neck-breaking riffs throughout far longer albums; Unaussprechlichen Kulten rolls the other way and makes sure each one of those 43 minutes needs to be absolutely chock-full of dense guitar-playing.

I am not exaggerating when I say that each song has at the very least one moment when I raised my eyebrows due to sheer admiration. I should also mention that the thundering drums, imposing bass and vocals are all of high quality of course, but it is really the unhinged guitars that are the main characters of this album. It’s like the guitars speak different languages, and slither and intertwine like a pair of deadly vipers. The staccato leads and solos are alarming, but also turn inspiring as they reach a neo-classical level of passion and complexity. On the other hand, the galloping riffs are most catchy, but can go into a dissonant frenzy at the drop of a hat. All this can make the album a bit hard to get into for some people, but I think the off-kilter style of theirs radiates so much charm precisely for how busy and intense it is.

I’m really sad and ashamed that I didn’t write this review sooner. But I’m also grateful because after more than 3 months since its release, I can still vouch for this piece of mental and original death metal. It ranks highly among the best of the genre this year. Blast it loud.



Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8





Written on 21.05.2024 by A lazy reviewer but he is so cute you'd forgive him for it.


Comments

Comments: 5   Visited by: 104 users
22.05.2024 - 00:30
Rating: 8
F3ynman
Nocturnal Bro
Contributor
Really great review! I remember adding this album to my mental checklist a while back, but I don't remember if I gave it a listen or not. Your description of how they fill every minute with so many different riffs and solos has definitely gotten me intrigued. I'll check this out ASAP!
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22.05.2024 - 03:00
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Ah, was wondering when we'd be getting a new review out of you, Our Chilean

Very well written one, you've definitely piqued my interest. I've always heard of these guys and they seem to be held in fairly high esteem, but I've never gotten around to taking a dive on any of their discog just yet. Any good place to start in particular?
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I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
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22.05.2024 - 12:50
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
Staff
Written by F3ynman on 22.05.2024 at 00:30

Really great review! I remember adding this album to my mental checklist a while back, but I don't remember if I gave it a listen or not. Your description of how they fill every minute with so many different riffs and solos has definitely gotten me intrigued. I'll check this out ASAP!

Thanks, man. Would love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Written by Auntie Sahar on 22.05.2024 at 03:00

Any good place to start in particular?

Cheers Sahar!
Considering your tastes I think going backwards would be your best bet. This is their sixth album and I believe that you will definitely enjoy this one together with the fifth and fourth album.

On the other hand, I would say the first three are much more primitive and have more in common with war metal acts. But they are also pretty good in their own right, with the third album showing how they were starting to lean into more adventurous songwriting.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass

Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.

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22.05.2024 - 21:21
Rating: 8
(o> . <o> )
Sounds intriguing, I think I'll enjoy this record! Even if, to be honest, the mere mention of death metal with off-kilter characteristics is usually enough to pique my curiosity.
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28.05.2024 - 16:44
Rating: 8
F3ynman
Nocturnal Bro
Contributor
Written by X-Ray Rod on 22.05.2024 at 12:50

Written by F3ynman on 22.05.2024 at 00:30

Really great review! I remember adding this album to my mental checklist a while back, but I don't remember if I gave it a listen or not. Your description of how they fill every minute with so many different riffs and solos has definitely gotten me intrigued. I'll check this out ASAP!

Thanks, man. Would love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Finally got around to listening to this and it's awesome, dude! Great guitar solos, gnarly blacked riffs too, and I like the inclusion of organ playing, choirs, or whisperings (like at the beginning of the second and the last songs) - really adds to the overall atmosphere. And I absolutely adore the last two minutes of the second song. That shit's pure fire
Will definitely be spinning this one several times this year
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