1349 — Massive Cauldron of Chaos (review)

1349 — Massive Cauldron of Chaos album cover Album · 2014 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Massive Cauldron of Chaos (2014) is the sixth full-length album by Norwegian black metal act 1349. It's been four years since the release of their last album Demonoir (2010), which was the follow-up to the fanbase divider that was Revelations of the Black Flame (2009). I haven't personally heard a lot of 1349's work prior to Massive Cauldron of Chaos, though I was intrigued by the backlash that Revelations of the Black Flame received and gather from what I've read up on the group as research for this review that Demonoir was a much better received album.

Being my first proper experience with the music of 1349 I obviously wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I first stuck Massive Cauldron of Chaos on to play. I usually see the band listed as just a black metal act, sometimes with dark ambient influences mentioned, especially regarding the more recent work. What I found in Massive Cauldron of Chaos is indeed black metal, but black metal than has a very strong thrash metal edge to the guitars. I'm quickly reminded of some of Immortal's later releases. Damned in Black (2000) and Sons of Northern Darkness (2002) are definitely valid points of reference. 1349 frontman Ravn's growl can even remind me of Immortal's Abbath at times but it's musically that puts Massive Cauldron of Chaos in the same niche more than anything. This makes Massive Cauldron of Chaos not as raw or atmospheric as some black metal can be, but a more direct and aggressive piece of work.

There are eight tracks on the album with a total of about thirty-eight minutes of music. The duration feels about right for the style as the album doesn't vary itself too much. It doesn't outstay it's welcome in other words and certainly fills its running time to bring in an assault of riffs, riffs and more riffs. There are still some more traditionally orientated black metal parts to be found though, and the growled vocals are in that vein too. Massive Cauldron of Chaos is very thrashy but it is still a black metal album first and foremost. Mengele's is a good example of where things turn towards more of pure black metal sound while Slaves really shows off just how well 1349 infuse thrash metal into their music. They save the best song for last in the form of Godslayer. A real triumphant conclusion to a great album.

Overall this album isn't as strong as those Immortal ones I compared it to but as a fan of those Massive Cauldron of Chaos is good complementary material from 1349. 4 Stars are very much deserved.


(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/1349-massive-cauldron-of-chaos-t3818.html)
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