CRAFTEON - Cosmic Reawakening

Crafteon - Cosmic Reawakening

8 songs
43:29 minutes
***** ****


After so many years, itís hard to innovate a genre like black metal any further. Lord Mordiggian, teacher of literature and horror aficionado, may have felt the same when he wanted to write songs about eight short stories of his favourite author, H.P. Lovecraft. So instead of trying to sound more extreme, more symphonic, more old school or more whatever adjective you feel like, he focused his energies on the songwriting, then recorded all the guitars, and when he couldnít find a fitting vocalist, took over that chore too. Soon he found a drummer who recorded the drum parts, and finally a lead guitarist and a bassist completed the line-up, even though they only procured some backing vocals on Cosmic Reawakening, the debut album by Crafteon from Denver, Colorado.

The Mile-High City has been known for its astonishingly progressive attitude, and consequently it is no surprise that Crafteon do not really sound like any other black metal band. Like I wrote before, their sound is nothing new, but finding a black metal band with a knack for such catchy melodies without sounding cheesy, isnít a thing I have done since the early days of Dissection.

The opener The Outsider starts with ominous thunder before a good half minute later the song itself starts with fast guitar riffs and a really festive atmosphere. The vocals are typical black metal growls and shrieks but fit exceedingly well with the melodic music. The drums are fierce, and the bass guitar comes with more weight than one normally is used to from that usually treble high genre. The following What The Moon Brings starts instantly with its unmistakeable guitar riff which is later used for the chorus. The drum is pounding a simple yet effective one-two-one-two beat, and it doesnít surprise that this track is the albumís first single, because it shows the band from its most accessible side (not that they are inaccessible at the other moments).

More goodies follow with The Temple and Dagon, but strangely enough, itís the albumís second half where the band seems to live up to even more greatness. The Colour Out Of Space sounds for instance like a more evil version of Luxembourgish band Scarred and once again shows that Lord Mordiggian really knows how to craft an unforgettable melody. The things is that this is lightyears away from the cheesy symphonic stuff, but rather owes possibly a little to early Viking metal, as can be witness in the following The White Ship, another festive track with a once again very good bass line. Itís the backing vocals that allow the comparisons to Scandinavian bands. My favourite track comes with the concluding The Whisperer In The Darkness, some kind of cheerful black metal track with a jangly bass guitar and a chorus that is impossible to get out of your mind.

Maybe itís Lord Mordiggianís love for H.P. Lovecraft that forbid him to come up with anything less than great. Maybe also the fact that he has worked and recorded on these tracks for nearly five years allowed him to strive for perfection. He likes to call his own specific genre bardic black metal, because of the musicís proximity to the literary sources. But no matter if you are a fan of Lovecraft or not, it is a fact that Crafteon, despite being a self-released band, have just like that come up with one of the most memorable black metal albums ever. It doesnít come much better than this!

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