Ctulu – Sarkomand

Rating: 3.5
Distributor/ Label: Static Tension Recordings
Released: 2015
Buy Album: https://ctulu.bandcamp.com/album/sarkomand
Band Website: http://www.ctulu.de/ and https://www.facebook.com/ctulumetal


Band line-up:

Mathias Junge: Guitar, Chorals
Arne Uekert: Guitar, Chorals
Lasse Bodenstein: Bass
Infernal Desaster: Drums


1. Arckanum der Tiefen
2. Sarkomand
3. Nachtwind
4. Traumsturm
5. Gezeitenstürme
6. Windschreiter
7. Blindes Chaos
8. Mondsucht


Ctulu’s ‘Sarkomand’, was an album originally released back in 2011, and is going to be re-issued by Static Tension recordings  this October. Having a sound that is rooted in old school black metal and focusing their lyrics toward H.P Lovecraft the band’s sound is certainly one not be taken lightly.

Starting out on a promising high with ‘Arckanum Der Tiefen’ the blast beats and gruesome snarls sound grim and full of misanthropy. Meanwhile, the melodies thrown into ‘Nachtwind’ demonstrate the band’s mature song writing skills.

The album’s title track, ’Sarkomand’ sounds as though it could easily go head to head with Darkthrone’s A Blaze In the Northern Sky and easily hold its own. As the intense guitars and sinister vocals corrode together, the band show a relentless drive toward hellish pits as the clean chants give everything that much needed epic touch.

‘Gezeitenstu’, comes with dissonant riffs and infernal vocals that sound like death is lurking around the corner as the band maintain their visceral attack with no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

However, the album does become tiresome as similar ideas get rehashed and fall into predictable patterns. It’s not until the scream of someone who sounds as though they are being tortured at the beginning of ‘Windschreiter’ that the band regain momentum and leap forward into greatness yet again.

Despite being consistently heavy in their exploits, the closing track offers up a brief moment of refuge in ‘Mondsucht’. The piano disperses as the band race ahead with a beast-like arsenal of riffs and blast beats.

The record remains a strong contender for one of the more solid black metal releases this year with its merit coming from its influences spanning back to the earlier endeavours of the 90’s. However, this does not feel like a tribute to the days of old, nor does it come off unnecessarily under produced. Instead, the band channel their energies into the genre and deliver their very own brand of black metal that is distinctly their own. What’s more, it sounds utterly devastating as it does convincing.

Review by Ben Spencer