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ARCHAIC THORN - review
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DEGIAL - review
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DISCIPLES OF POWER - review
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INFERNÄL MÄJESTY - review
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THE SPIRIT - interview
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ACCIDENTAL SUICIDE - review
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UNDER THE CHURCH - review
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GRAVESIDE - review
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PROSCRITO - review
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CRYPTS OF DESPAIR - review
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BARK - review
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SPECTRALE - review
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NOX IRAE - review
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SHEOL HADES - review
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STRYCHNINE - review
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KAPALA - review
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CULTES DES GOULES / FAUSTCOVEN
CULTES DES GOULES / FAUSTCOVEN
Split
(Iron Tyrant Records)
10:43min

The art of the split 7" has largely been lost in these dark ages of Metal. There was a time when bands would produce their best work for inclusion on a compilation or split release in order to demonstrate their full potential to listeners that may not be familiar with their work, but now most bands simply assign their most generic throwaway tracks to such releases. Iron Tyrant has managed to secure two of the best tracks by the two bands featured on this split, however. At first glance, one may think Germany's CULTES DES GOULES and Norway's FAUSTCOVEN to be an awkward pairing. In that way, this split EP is reminiscent of the classic ROTTING CHRIST / MONUMENTUM split. Here, CULTES DES GOULES, like MONUMENTUM, occupy a plane that is uniquely tangential to the more traditional sphere of Metal inhabited by FAUSTCOVEN. CULTES DES GOULES play a macabre blend of Death Rock and Metal informed by the horrific visions of Lovecraft. It is a style that truly sounds unlike anything else. Eschewing the typical guitar oriented approach, CULTES DES GOULES's music is composed using only bass, drums, and keyboards. FAUSTCOVEN share little in common with CULTES DES GOULES in terms of sound, relying on a heavily guitar oriented approach evoking and blending many of the most foundational elements in Black and Doom Metal. The result is devastating and bleak. The track on this split is quite possibly the peak of the band's work thus far. The song begins with a megalithic riff that, although dense, only sparsely populates the cavernous emptiness that surrounds it. During the six minutes that follow, the song gradually builds momentum and is then unraveled again. Although the styles of the two bands could scarcely be more divergent, these two peculiar bands meet at a conceptual nexus. Each draws its influence from the foundational principles of horror and approach their subject matter in an almost that tongue-in-cheek fashion. This approach detracts nothing, however, because the bands each exhibit sincere and novel musical foci. Moreover, this tactic prevents the bands from being overly serious in the manner that many similarly situated bands often are. One cannot help but think that Iron Tyrant gambled with this release. Neither band presented here is of the sort that will appeal to either the impulsive goat-worshipping legions or the self-conscious posturing of the orthodox occult scene. But neither Iron Tyrant nor the bands seem to be aiming toward such easy targets anyway. The goal here is far more obscure and, therefore, the reward is correspondingly greater. More info at: www.cultesdesgoules.org, www.myspace.com/goules, www.myspace.com/faustcoven, www.irontyrant.net

Jason Campbell

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