is an ever changing beast and since the rise of the genre, it has evolved in many directions. After Carcass
birthed Heartwork and subsequently tainted Sweden (again) with its melodic approach, Melodic Death Metal
got farther and farther away from its Death Metal
origins to become a genre on its own. In recent years, the chasm grew so wide that most people would not even consider it Death Metal
any longer and actually I eventually turned up to be one of those people.
The “melodic” side of Death Metal
became a complete turnoff for most OSDM and Brutal
fans. But sometimes, even if seldom, some bands have the ability to infuse melodies with Death Metal
and not sound like sissies. And Sulphur Aeon
are one of these bands. Coming from Germany and part of the local roster of FDA Rekotz, their debut Swallowed
by the Ocean
’s Tide has become this year’s new sensation in Death Metal
, making it one of the most praised releases of early 2013 in Death Metal
and a fantastic debut to come up with. Having released one demo and an EP before the debut, it is safe to assume that few people knew about them until now and the various bands the members are or were involved in are only local that even fewer people may know about.
So, coming out of the blue (pun!) Sulphur Aeon
just literally floored listeners with their brilliant and rare take on Death Metal
. As previously hinted, they play Melodic Death Metal
, but they play Melodic and Brutal
it’s not Brutal
with a little melody here and there or Melodic with the occasional blast beats, no this is the full-fledged beast that continually displays both. Beautiful harmonies mixed with the aggression. Incisive and epic riffing that sometimes even sound Black Metal
’ish, mammoth heavy production and a drummer with just as many arms as that creature from the cover art has tentacles. The gutturals of M also seem to be infused with a little Black Metal
and their “intelligibility” make the lyrical work even grander. There are also a few keyboards used throughout the record but more to distill atmospheres than to hide mediocrity.
are just a war machine. Crushing the ground everywhere their legions dwell. Stopping only to contemplate the devastation previously caused. Melodic, brutal and ultimately epic and warring Death Metal
. The only band I can think of that comes even close to the Germans is Helcaraxe
from the US who developed, on Broadsword and other releases, this testosterone-loaded Melodic Death Metal
with almost the same efficiency. The main difference between the two bands is that actually Helcaraxe
chose to develop Viking
and warlike concepts where Sulphur Aeon
are more versed into Lovecraft’s Mythos
. The incantation at the beginning of the record (Ia!) is close in essence to Morbid Angel
of All Fevers and Plague and both art and lyrical themes revolve around R’lyeh, Cthulhu and other marine nightmares thought by the sick mind of the Providence
mastermind. Which to me is a bit of a contradiction since I really can’t picture anything lovecraftian in Sulphur Aeon
’s music as it is no crawling chaos like, for instance, Portal
’s mad Death Metal
. However, this “faux-pas” is definitely minor and considering that music has precedence, I can totally neglect this aspect of Swallowed
by the Ocean
’s Tide since the music is so enthralling. Maybe, Zombi, the last instrumental track that is also the slowest one and laden with eerie “female-like” humming could eventually bring up Lovecraft in mind but as I said, this is just a minor “discrepancy” to which listeners will most likely not pay attention.
In other words, Sulphur Aeon
’s debut is just as great as it was unexpected. Of course, the surprise factor will play a big influence but this record has a ridiculously high replay value. It just wants to be played on and on, revealing more splendor at each listen as well as surging your body with a will to battle!