FDA Rekotz has slowly been gaining more and more respect from me. From Carcass clones Gruesome Stuff Relish (look for their song "Desecrated" on our upcoming compilation album!) to old school death metal masters Chapel of Disease, they've been putting out some of the best records and artists in underground extreme music over the past little while. Newest to the list of bands on FDA Rekotz that give me raging metal boners are Cthulhu-worshipping death metallers Sulphur Aeon.
Rising out of Germany, Sulphur Aeon just dropped their debut album Swallowed by the Ocean's Tide in the final days of 2012. It's as dark and crushing as the ocean depths and dreadfully doomy, drowning you in an unstoppable torrent of thundering blast beats, stomach churning riffs, and unholy growls. It's death metal through the darkest of lenses, as deep and black as the ocean floor itself.
Ocean's Tide wouldn't be what I call a melodic death metal album in the traditional sense. It's got more of a focus on creating an engulfing atmosphere similar to a raging storm out at sea rather than creating thrashy Gothenburg style riffs and hooks. That's not to say there aren't melodic riffs or harmonized leads across this brutal 45 minute offering, but the album's sound is more similar to Deathspell Omega rather than At The Gates or In Flames. Songs ebb and flow, tangling and untangling themselves with crushing brutality and majestic melodies that slosh around in your head as your ears get pummeled straight down to R'lyeh.
Not only are the songs beautifully atmospheric, but the playing itself is nothing to be scoffed at. This isn't an album where minimalism and fragile beauty offer up their qualities to help the overall engulfing feeling. The riffs are visceral and vicious, ranging between tremolo picked melodic lines to slower, doomy power chords that trample all over you without a second thought. There's even some awesome mosh riffs across the album, with my personal favorite being the galloping at the beginning of "Those who Dwell in Stellar Void". There are no clean passages here, no down time, and certainly no forgiveness. There is only non-stop decimation fueled by absolutely unfuckwithable songwriting.
The album starts with an intro track aptly named "Cthulhu Rites", which acts as a sort of calm before the storm, with the sound of crashing waves and blasphemous chanting setting the mood for the rest of the album. As the track builds and builds, it finally explodes into "Incantation" which along with the next eight songs waste no time swallowing whole and not letting you go until they've finished leading you through their dark and twisted journey. Finally, after the destruction has ceased and the dust has settled comes the instrumental anthem "Zombi", the soundtrack to a certain Great Old One, now content with the havoc it has just wreaked, returning once again to the deep, dark watery depths it calls home.
Bomb-Ass Tracks: Incantation, Those who Dwell in Stellar Void, Zombi
On a Playlist With: Deathspell Omega, Septicflesh, Dissection
Swallowed by the Ocean's Tide is a perfect pairing of dark and regal, something I can only describe as "beautifully disgusting". Sulphur Aeon are a band that entertain and enthrall, that blend brutality with excellent songwriting and playing.
Swallowed by the Ocean's Tide is out on FDA Rekotz, and you can contact Sulphur Aeon directly on their Facebook page.
That's all for now, folks! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.