Unaussprechlichen Kulten
Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath

As painful as it is to say, death metal is probably the most stagnant, saturated subgenre of metal right now with the majority of its practitioners either content to simply regurgitate the most well-known sounds of the early ‘90s or soullessly hammer away in only the most “brootal” fashion. How many early Entombed clones does the world need? And, is anyone really desperate for yet another overly-polished version of Effigy of the Forgotten? Having some of that is fine, but much is lost in the deluge. Of course, there are exceptions to death metal’s current monotony. Ævangelist is taking the genre to unexplored depths, Horrendous is heading down an alternate left hand path, and in between them, Chile’s Unaussprechlichen Kulten is summoning Cthulhu in their own, special way.

On paper, it doesn’t seem like the band’s third full-length, Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath, would be anything to get too excited about. It’s not the heaviest, darkest, or most progressive death metal of the year. And, it doesn’t contain any exotic instrumentation, female vocals, or old dudes trying to make a comeback. Considering that, you might dismiss it as ordinary, until you realize what this albums does right. First off, there’s absolutely no filler. Even the “Prologue” and “Epilogue” tracks – pointless diversions on most other albums – are actual songs that perfectly bookend the album with conjurations of doom. Then there are the song lengths. In an age when a lot of bands seem to believe that more is more, it’s refreshing to encounter one that understands the value of less. The longest track is 3:33 and the whole album is over in a little under half an hour. That might sound too brief, but for an album this packed with riffs and shifting tempos, it works. And, none of it is buried in murk nor rendered lifeless in polish. Plus, while not part of the music, there’s that masterfully painted cover art that perfectly represents the evil lurking behind it. But, of course, these things don’t necessarily make it a great album. That comes from the monstrous riffs and labyrinthine song structures that are somehow both memorable yet seem to mutate and reveal something new with each listen.

Hints of early Immolation and Incantation pop up here and there, but for the most part, Unaussprechlichen Kulten has mastered a fairly distinct sound that comes across as wholly genuine and completely unconcerned with trying to sound like anything other than what comes out naturally. Don’t be discouraged by the sea of clones. Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath proves that there’s still plenty of life left in death.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Adam Palm
November 24th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    great last line! I need to give this some deeper listens but you’re right, it does have a unique and peculiar quality despite the fact that the album cover suggests something more ornate than it actually is…


  2. Commented by: Count Breznak

    Now if they would finally fix their Bandname…


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