CHTHONIC CULT "Become Seekers for Death"
By Dr. Abner Mality
Here's an ambush from an unexpected quarter. CHTHONIC CULT have delivered one of the first great extreme records of 2022. This is blackened death metal of a very high caliber.
I was honestly expecting a bestial blast of total war metal or perhaps the subterranean belch of a cavernous death/doom band. CHTHONIC CULT provided neither. Although there's no doubting the underground cred of this mysterious German/Polish collective, I was shocked by the emphasis on clever songwriting here. This is not just gross noise; these are actual songs with identity, full of interesting yet brutal riffs. And the riffs are pieced together with some care, giving life to full bore songs, not just "riff salad". I hold up "The Thunder Spoke to the Spirit" as Exhibit A. This one has a killer "marching" thrust to it that gets the head banging; at around the 3 minute mark, an awesome doom-soaked hook appears, with some great church organ adding grim atmosphere. An outstanding song!
Lots of good ones here. "When The Ancients Speak" is a real journey, starting with a thrash feel, moving to a mid-section of dissonant (but not TOO dissonant) death metal and ending with a kind of Oriental feel, oozing with strong guitar soloing. The lead guitar is excellent throughout the record and the vocals can best be described as gruff but not the usual guttural death growls and burps. Every song here has got its own identity, but the dark and ritualistic feel hovers over the whole enterprise.
An early contender for a Top 10 death metal album!