When even copying the band name from the promo blurb does not work as it’s been spelt wrong there, sheesh… Got there in the end though and this band who I term the unpronounceable cult from Chile sure don’t make it easy for themselves. I can imagine going into a record shop and asking for their new album and getting nowhere fast but guess the look of bemusement on the counter staff’s face will make it a somewhat priceless experience. I’ll say one thing for the band from Santiago, they have been rather prolific since they spawned Yog Sothoth like in 2000 and have a slew of releases in the form of demo’s, EP’s, compilations and albums of which this is their 5th. This time around they have obviously decided that the Hexenhammer aka Malleus Maleficarum, the Book of the witches is far too common and indeed it has been opened by far too many bands of late. Instead they have gone for the Teufelsbücher – The Books Of The Devil, a German grimoire that you are somewhat unlikely to have in your library certainly not one of the original 39 copies purported to exist in the 16th century.
Let’s dispense of that though and go instead to the music and the 6 tracks speaking of ‘Necromancy And Torment’ here. One thing I probably didn’t expect was a soft opening with piano and what sounds like oboe but its not long before we are churning along in the grip and turmoil of morbid death worship courtesy of ‘The Evil Out Of Control.’ The mainframe of their malicious and maleficent modus operandi is dense and sprawling. It shocks and harrows like turning the page of an HP Lovecraft story which they take their name from. This is not something for dispute, a guitar player even goes for the name Herbert West and boy does he strike some devilish squealing and scything tones. There’s some very cool solos to be found here and melody is creepy and strong, death and doom tipping the listener over the precipice. Vocalist Joseph Curwen (yes more Lovecraft) has a growling gravid delivery but occasionally goes a bit off on tangents and does very strange things with his voice, check out a part on ‘Keziah Lilith Medea’ where he suddenly sounds like he has been possessed by the vengeful spirit of an old crone! The Butcher Of Christ hammers out his parts with some thick reverberating tones and bass courtesy of Namru Impetradorum Mortem (Jeez I ask ya) is suitably meaty chundering around in the background.
You can throw a stick and a Cthulhu like tentacle will rise and grab it in death metal circles but this lot (not going to copy and paste name again) strike as pretty damn authentic in their studious studies of the great old one himself. They replicate his horrible worlds with an air of grimnity where the listener is stalked and savaged through time and space itself and all the colours of the dark are found herein. I wasn’t sold at first but as I played this more the magic spreads and oozes from the pores of the music itself and the fantastic leads wrap themselves around and draw you in delightfully devilish and dreadfully demonic. The 42 minute running time is perfect, the 6 songs have time to breathe and develop perfectly and those who like old creepy death metal with some serious atmospheres running through it will love dipping into this as the midnight hour approacheth. Spelling and pronunciation aside whisper their name in fear and trepidation initiation into their kulten is just a step away…
(8/10 Pete Woods)