Gateway to the Antisphere
2015 Imperium Productions
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!! Germany's Sulphur Aeon rise from the depths once again, with their follow up to 2013's "Swallowed by the Ocean's Tide." Those expecting another fairly straightforward death metal album may find themselves disappointed though. The unholy triad of T, M and D have gone in a different direction, following more in the conceptual footsteps of a band like Necros Christos. Not in their sound, mind you... but more where music, image, atmosphere and presentation all become one, to create something that transcends all of them. Even before you put the album in to hear it, you can tell you're in for something different from the norm. The packaging for the CD at least consists of a silver embossed slipcase, featuring the occult merging of a necrogram and the symbol of chaos on the front, and the logo, album title and songs on the back. Then you have a three-panel digipak featuring a bloated tentacle rising from the depths, a glued-in booklet and of course the disk itself. About the only thing they could have done that would have been more impressive (but not cost-effective) would have been to release this as a leather-bound book with the lyrics and such printed on parchment. The overall music and concept behind it has gone beyond the more typical death metal sounds of the debut, in favor of a much more twisted and meandering style that wanders hither and yon along paths that before now were never set upon by the foot of man. The world of Lovecraft is to Sulphur Aeon as ancient Egypt is to Nile or the human condition is to Napalm Death. It is the totality of their being and is that which drives them to create. it is also perhaps their one flaw as well. Sulphur Aeon owe so much to Lovecraft, that they might well have never existed to create such music if he had never existed. This leaves me to wonder what they might have done if they had created their own mythology and based their art on that instead. Even so, this may well become one of the top albums of 2015, at least for those of us in the know... for those of us who dig deeper and are not afraid to let the abyss gaze back into them.