Sulphur Aeon
Seven Crowns and Seven Seals

Germany’s Sulphur Aeon has been dark for a few years now after churning (literally) out three superb albums of murky, majestic, Lovecraftian death metal since 2013, that had them being uttered in the same breath as the likes of Portal, Ulcerate, and such.

But after a 5-year silence since 2018’s The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos, they are back from the abyss to reclaim their throne as one of death metal’s top acts with a magnificent album that should be lauded as one of years very best releases.

The basic tenets of the band’s style are in place from The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos ; a  dense layered, style of atonal, but eerily and sneakily melodic form death metal that is befitting the Lovecraftian subject matter of undulating, but majestic horror.

And on Seven Crowns and Seven Seals, all of that is magnified and increased. The immense and regal murkiness is further fleshed out for a surprisingly, melodic, but still nauseating sound. The increased use of some clean chanted vocals here and there adds to the ritualistic churn, that’s still massively imposing.

Look no further than the first real track (after intro “Somber Tidings”), “Hammer From the Howling Void”, where the perfect balance of filthy discordance and sneaky, subtle layers of melody are fully on display, and along with those aforementioned chants, you often feel like Nyarlathotep himself is being summoned and is about to rise from the abyss and destroy the world.

And that aura continues for the album’s, massive 46-minute entirety. In particular, the standout title track, where the chorus/chant’s repetitive nature, drones and lulls you into an almost trancelike state. “The Yearning Abyss Devours Us” and “Arcane Cambrian Sorcery” are also ritualistic, twisting menacing numbers that blast, sway, and lumber with foreboding, sickly splendor as does the hauntingly grandiose 9-minute closer “Beyond the Ziggurats”.

But the band can still bring the thunderous ick as heard on the third track “Usurper of the Earth and Sea“, (as well buried in all the aforementioned tracks) with plenty of blasts and atonal leads, that still reek of foreboding, ceremonial filth.

Sulphur Aeon is once again back and atop death metal’s food chain with an immense album that would make Azathoth mosh in world world-ruining pit of galactic destruction.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 9th, 2023

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