1349: Massive Cauldron Of Chaos

BM’s big hopes produce a stirring comeback

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In a landscape where Norwegian black metal is slowly losing its identity

With Massive Cauldron Of Chaos the group are back to their fiery, intense best and after 2009’s curious Revelations Of The Black Flame and 2010’s somewhat better Demonoir, it’s a genuine pleasure to hear the Nordic horde lay waste to the scene with a record of non-stop, punishing, cold black metal. After the incredible Hellfire of 2005 it seemed that 1349 would be the band to watch, the one that would break through. But for reasons only the Dark Lord Himself knows, it never quite happened. Massive Cauldron Of Chaos, then, is a record that is a call to arms, one that establishes itself as a modern-sounding work and one that allows 1349 to push their limits and include some interesting, and controversial, subject matter. Mengele is all furious blasts and coursing hatred while incorporating some touches of sound that echo the early days of the scene, as well as huge, lifting solos that should sound out of place but instead sound at home with 1349’s new lease of life. Opener Cauldron lays down the framework for the album and reaches out into anthemic, chanted territory before Exorcism rages with pure evil intent and the touch of soaring heavy metal guitar that works its way into proceedings is delightful. Ravn’s vocal stance is one of throat-ravaging disgust, while Frost’s drumming has to be heard to be believed. More machine than man, he pushes the tracks forward with a blisteringly propulsive spirit. Massive Cauldron Of Chaos is a welcome return for 1349 and a record that will surely reconfirm their standing in the modern black metal world.

Via Indie Recordings