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1349 - Massive Cauldron of Chaos

Massive Cauldron of Chaos
by Erika Kuenstler at 24 September 2014, 9:11 PM

Shakespeare once wrote: “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble”, and this is exactly what Norwegian Black Metal band 1349 have set out to do with their new album “Massive Cauldron of Chaos”. It’s been four years since the unveiling of “Demonoir”, and fans of been waiting with bated breath for its successor. The wait is finally almost over, with “Massive Cauldron of Chaos” being due for release at the end of this month.

With a total play-time of just under 40 minutes, “Massive Cauldron of Chaos” is perhaps 1349’s most well-rounded album to date. Starting off with the song “Cauldron”, an eerie intro melts into a tempestuous onslaught of tremolo picked riffage that assaults your ears as a barrage of blast beat tears through your consciousness and venomous vocals poison your mind. Pure 1349 through and through, this track heralds what is to come. Taking a step back towards the Black Metal styles of bygone years, this album brings to life the older elements of the band whilst still maintaining a modern twist. “Exorcism” is a relentless track complete with psychotic guitar solos that bludgeons all in its path before taking on a more Black’n’Roll feel towards the end. This stands in stark contrast to the much Thrashier feel of “Postmortem” in which frantic riffs are broken up by bombastic drumbeats that will undoubtedly raise hell on the upcoming 1349 tour. “Golem” is an exceptionally short track that doesn’t even break the two minute mark. However, this song stands testament to the old adage that length doesn’t matter: with a Punk-like attitude, this brief track oozes defiance whilst obliterating everything in its way. Last but not least, “Godslayer” is an apocalyptic end to the album, interspersed with mid-tempo passages of sheer obscurity; it is on this track that 1349 have managed to create a truly timeless sound that summarises the album well.

As one can expect from such a well-established band, the song structures themselves are flawless, the recording quality sublime, and the musicianship is impeccable. But “Massive Cauldron of Chaos” seems slightly restrained somehow. In paying more attention to the melodious aspects of the compositions, 1349 have lost some of the savage brutality that many fans prize. This is the tipping point of the album: whether you love or hate “Massive Cauldron of Chaos” will depend on whether you can accept this more melodic and Old School twist that 1349 have taken on this album.

Nevertheless, 1349 delivers exactly what they promised with this release: “Massive Cauldron of Chaos” is a seething melting-pot of pure pandemonium. This is a feral and savage amalgamation of both older and newer 1349 elements, all blended together into a unique merger of melody-tinted madness. I for one can’t wait to catch them on their upcoming tour across Europe!

4 Star Rating

1. Cauldron
2. Slaves
3. Exorcism
4. Postmortem
5. Mengele's
6. Golem
7. Chained
8. Godslayer
Seidemann - Bass
Ravn - Drums, Vocals
Archaon - Guitars
Frost - Drums
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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