AFTER DEATH / UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN - Dwellers Of The Deep / The Madness from the Sea (PROSELYTISM - Split CD 2012)
If someone will ever dare to say that nowadays there’s no point in buying CDs or LPs or MCs, then I strongly advice that person to shoot himself in the head. There’s always a need to purchase some excellent music and when looking at such jewels as this split CD between After Death and Unaussprechlichen Kulten, then I just realize that it is something very special. I haven’t even know much about the label, Proselytism, before I got this split, although I’ve heard a compilation CD with mainly South American bands, which this label has released (it was titled “Tu Futuro”). But looking how carefully and wonderfully they have released “Dwellers Of The Deep / The Madness from the Sea” split CD, I just must admit that this probably is one of the best works I’ve seen recently, excellent digipack and two discs with absolutely amazing music. This is truly a collectable item, not only because it is limited to just 500 copies, but also due to its killer packaging. And when looking at it, tell me if it doesn’t make sense to purchase such items, collect them, instead of just sucking the cocks of mp3? Anyway, I strongly advise you to get “Dwellers Of The Deep / The Madness from the Sea”. The split CD features two relatively different bands – After Death from USA and Unaussprechlichen Kulten from Chile and both proved to be worthy.
The first one, which I started to listen to, was After Death. I was really curious about this band, of course mainly due to the fact that it was formed by Mike Browning. He’s a legendary dude, being in early Morbid Angel line ups and also forming Nocturnus, means that there were many expectations from my side for this new band, which he formed. Well, maybe not new, because After Death exists already since 1999 and already has several recordings in the discography, but “Dwellers Of The Deep” was my first meeting with their music. And I must say that after the first listening of their disc I was quite surprised and torn apart. From one hand the music of After Death sounds totally – and I mean TOTALLY – like the good, old Nocturnus on “The Key” LP, which obviously is something great. But from the other hand After Death has such increased a number of keyboard parts in their music, that sometimes I had quite a problem with liking what they play. Many of the sounds, which the keyboards play are weird, many sound dreamy or cosmic or however you wanna name it, they appear very often and I had an impression that it’s just too much. And that they strip the music of After Death from a lot of aggression and intensity, which I usually look for in death metal (listen to the beginning of “Lords of the Black Path” to see what I mean). But I kept listening to this disc on and on and after a while I found myself loving those sounds. Man, it turned out that After Death managed to create great atmosphere here! Sure, sometimes they may sound too soft or harmonious to brutal death metal fan (“Dwellers of the Deep” is kind of song, where they’ll probably get shivers hehe), but I don’t think this music is really for them. But if you want to listen to a real continuation of the early Nocturnus (and sometimes in the fast parts the band reminds me of Absu!), then this is something exactly for you! 7 excellent songs, many fantastic parts, all fantastically arranged and played (oh, those furious, lunatic guitar leads!), great Mike Browning’s vocals – which I recognised instantly, as this man has very original style of singing or screaming! Very dark, very sinister, malevolent, very powerful and somehow I feel the atmosphere of the ancients here in this music. My favourite tracks would probably be “christWas”, which I guess is the fastest and most uncompromising song on here and “Lords of the Black Path”, which I just mentioned – this song, after a quite peaceful and dreamy dreams turns into a real beast, reminding me Absu in many ways, including the sort of ritualistic atmosphere, what I like a lot. “Devourer of Souls” is also excellent, the most Nocturnus sounding track here, I think. But definitely the best song from After Death is the one, which closes their CD and it is a thrilling cover of Morbid Angel’s “Chapel of Ghouls”. Of course After Death – or Mike Browning – has the biggest right to record his versions of those old Morbid songs, as he was a drummer and vocalist of this band back in the 80’s, he performed many of their songs on the demos or the “Abominations of Desolation” LP, so listening to “Chapel of Ghouls” is like a travel into the past. What surprised me was that this version sounds very similar to the old Morbid Angel version from “Abominations…”, really, production wise and of course with Mike’s vocals it does sound very close to the original, but from the other hand After Death has added plenty of keyboard parts into this song, what gave it a slightly new dimension. But I love this cover a lot! Definitely then After Death turned out to be a great surprise to me and since I haven’t really heard anything from Mike Browning, speaking of the music ever since “Thresholds” LP and his appearance in Acheron, this is a much welcome return. Killer band!
Change of the disc and it’s time to get destroyed by the Chileans from Unaussprechlichen Kulten. Well, one thing I don’t like about this band is their moniker, I just have no idea how to pronounce it or cannot even write it down from memory hehe! Anyway, I like this band – they’re really good and “People of the Monolith” was a damn good LP. Besides, Joseph Curwen is an editor of excellent Compilation of Death zine, which is one of the greatest fanzines I have ever read so far (I recommend you the second issue - it is just awesome!). Unaussprechlichen Kulten are obviously another Lovecraftian worshippers, what you can see already by the title of this disc. “The Madness from the Sea” offers five tracks plus Mortem cover. And their death metal, although much different to what we have heard from After Death, is also fuckin excellent. To me Unaussprechlichen Kulten are totally influenced by Immolation, speaking of these characteristic, repetitive riffs, the whole atmosphere of the music and everything else. Obviously the music of those Chilean killers is not just a simple rip off and cut and paste, they do not copy Immolation riffs, they also have the influences from other bands (whose names are pretty obvious, so I’m not going to mention them… I only wanted to mention Immolation, as they’re the closest, speaking of the atmosphere and style) and in the end Unaussprechlichen Kulten gets a lot of seriously great riffs and everything is very well composed, arranged and performed. I also like the production a lot. The sound is just very strong, very powerful and energetic, what underlines the mightiness and brutality of the riffs. The music is tight and massive, often it is also fast and relentless, so I guess I can say that I cannot spot any weaknesses in it. “People of the Monolith (The Black Stone)” is the most significant track here, but the rest isn’t far behind. This is very good band, indeed!
Final rate: 87/100