Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ceremonial Castings-Cthulu

At more than two hours long and spread across two discs (One of which is purely an ambient recording) I knew that listening to Ceremonial Castings latest offering Cthulu would not be an easy task. Yet, something about the art drew me to the record, wanting to dig in to the incredible magic that seemed to lie within. Now that I'm here, I'm elated that I have found the almighty crushing magic of a band who are willing to put out an artistic statement that seems to capture entire worlds of sound. While this may not be an east listen, Cthulu is most certainly a satisfying one.

Their is a certain triumph to be found in the rapid riffs and all encompassing production of this release. Ceremonial Castings have been making black metal for pretty much as long as I have been alive, so I guess it makes sense that Cthulu is such a monumental work. Nevertheless, the fact that these brothers have been able to craft a record with so many layers and intricacies is still stunning. There are so many unique twists and turns on Cthulu, from melodic guitar lines to strangely timed riffs that make for an album that is worth dozens of listens. The ambient side of the record is especially interesting, it shows men in love with the weird sounds of sci-fi, bringing in all sorts of cool elements, including (I think) a theremin. The songcraft is excellent and leaves me wondering how many years of work went into such an epic piece.

Yet, somehow I don't think that this is Ceremonial Casting masterpiece. There is a lot to explore in this record, yet I get the feeling they could take it further and make it even greater than it already is. As the blazing riffs give way to strange ambient magic, Cthulu works it's way into your skull. Ceremonial Castings have tapped into the antediluvian magic of Lovecrafts work and so have managed to tap into something greater than themselves. This record speaks to any fan of horror and bizarro, delving into its mythic realms should be a pleasure for any fan of heavy music.

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