Ctulu – “Sarkomand” re-issue (Static Tension Recordings)
With a deep HP Lovecraft influence both in their name as well as the ‘Dreamlands’ concept behind this long sold out album, Germany’s Ctulu remind us of their greatest work as they begin recording their fourth full length this year. Formed in 2004, Ctulu proclaim their own ‘seastorming extreme metal’ style probably as a result of being based in the famous port cities of Kiel and Bremen, but without a shadow of a doubt 2011’s “Sarkomand” takes its cue from 90s black / death a la Dissection with tons of irresistible Scandinavian melodies amid an extreme sound of harsh vocals, driving guitars and ferocious drumming! Long since sought by fans, “Sarkomand” has been high on the re-issues list and that this new pressing contains absolutely no re-workings attests to the power of songs like ‘Windschreiter’ with its galloping pace and spell bounding Nordic melodies – not to mention a twin vocal attack from founder guitarist Mathias Junge and his axe brother Arne Uekert. Ctulu’s confidence also extends into lengthier material like the 7 minute ‘Blindes Chaos’, which pretty much defines the band’s signature sound with tons of dark epic atmosphere by the skillful use of acoustic passages, slower blackish pieces and crushing melodic riffs that even Metallica would turn their heads to! With an equally heavy production sound that brings all the instruments to the fore, you can literally feel the energy amidst the reverb and the endless sustain on this perfectly crafted opus that befits a style that has seen the pedigree of some of metal’s greatest bands.