Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, December 22, 2023

Karkosa - Esoterrorcult


Now THIS is a ripper!  Karkosa are a black metal band emerging from the wastes of Indiana whose unflinching assault bears the influence of acts like Belphegor or Dark Funeral. Their new record Esoterrorcult is exciting and at times borderline terrifying, nicely playing into the tropes of the genre and showcasing the vibrant extremity that makes this music so compelling in the first place. In a US black metal scene that seems once more ascendant, Karkosa are bringing their spin on the genre straight into your skull at a million miles an hour. 

Esoterrorcult is the sound of the world collapsing around your head.  Karkosa's sound is far more decorated and less monochromatic than some of their peers, with flashy solos and thoughtful interludes providing a counterpoint to tremolo picked riffs. Karkosa have found a way to make the beast their own. The spiraling power of a song like "Remnants Of Creation" is addictive and will drive listeners ever deeper into dancing with madness. Esoterrorcult blazes constantly, inspiring listeners with an assault that seems to constantly inspire ever darker visions, and the tech inspired assault of tracks like "Cyclopian Gateway" nicely decorates the record. 

Karkosa unleash hate throughout Esoterrorcult and it's hard not to be charmed by the vision that this album presents. While it is certainly not reinventing the steel, it is well executed blackened death metal with all the usual array of tropes deployed with aplomb. Esoterrorcult is in many ways larger than life and its execution, at its best is thrilling. Karkosa clearly understand the genre and have a lot of room to grow. What more could you want?

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