Review: Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Teufelsbücher

Unaussprechlichen Kulten (unspeakable cults), of course named after the eponymous fictional book of arcane literature linked to H.P. Lovercraft’s Chtulhu Mythos, is a death metal band hailing from Santiago, Chile. Being formed as Spawn in 1997 they changed their name to Unaussprechlichen Kulten in 1999, a name they still carry up until today. Having been around for that long usually means an impressive discography, to which these guys are no exception. Having released five demos, an EP, three splits, three compilations and four full-lengths since the turn of the century they can definitely be accused of sitting idle. Apparently their hunger for more still hasn’t been satisfied, because now the quartet is preparing to unleash their latest work onto the world in the form of a fifth full-length entitled Teufelsbücher (Devils books). As the band name suggests the guys draw their inspiration, both musically as lyrically, from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, placing their death metal in the occult corner of this genre. The current line-up consists of Joseph Curwen on guitar and vocal chords, Butcher of Christ on drums, Herbert West on guitar and Namru Impetradorum Mortem on bass.

Teufelsbücher offers six lengthy songs, totaling a pinch over 42 minutes of rather filthy death metal that has a distinct old school vibe to it at times, along with a nasty black edge and a handful of thrashy elements. On opener The Evil Out of Control all stops are immediately pulled out, displaying all angles of approach the guys from Unaussprechlichen Kulten use in their music, resulting in the rhythm and structure of the song being all over the place. Now usually that is not exactly a recommendation, but in this case it’s actually something that is strangely fitting without sounding too complicated or incoherent. In fact, the seemingly unstructured aspect of the composition claims your full attention, keeping your focus on the music at all times and ensuring you’ll consciously experience all it has to offer in its full variety. Add to that the foul growls of Joseph that strongly augment the occult vibe and the pandemonium is complete.

And, to make my work easy for once, describing the first song is in fact describing the entire release. Not that the songs are cheap copies of the opener or one another, on the contrary, each song exists as an entity of its own, with its own characteristics and peculiarities. The setup however is most definitely a blueprint: A strongly executed, seemingly unstructured, rhythm-defying composition with its roots in old school death metal, filled with speed changes, trips to the darkness of black metal, guitar outbursts popping up out of nowhere as if randomly dropped somewhere into the song, all accompanied by angry growls, seemingly loosely structured drums that break the speed limit more than once and matching bass lines. I could fill ten pages describing each song individually and still have not covered everything, so I’m not even going to try. Instead I’ll settle for the summary:

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Unaussprechlichen Kulten delivers a pretty impressive, overwhelming, at times nasty wall of sound that will hit you where it hurts. It doesn’t really matter what song you pick, they will all leave their impression on you and, depending on your personal preferences, make it last as well. Do you like your death metal to be raw, unpolished and loosely orchestrated with a distinct taste of black providing a sheer endless stream of musical discoveries? Then you have no reason not to give this a dozen of serious spins, in fact you’re going to thoroughly enjoy this. Not for the faint of heart, though.

Here you can read our earlier review of Unaussprechlichen Kulten’s Baphomet Pan Shub Niggurath.

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