1349: Massive Cauldron of Chaos

Admittedly, I’ve never really listened to much of 1349‘s music until this year, although I wish I had because I might be able to present a more well thought-out, well constructed review. Massive Cauldron of Chaos is my entry point for this band and while I may not even be the the world’s biggest black metal fan, I can tell that this band are making very large strides within the genre and carving out a place for  themselves in the chronology go the genre.

I was able to explore the back catalog of this band shortly after discovering this record and was very impressed by what they had to offer on just about every record. Massive Cauldron of Chaos is a return to a more traditional approach to black metal, although to be honest, I don’t hate albums like Revelations of Black Flame. I thought it was a strong attempt to expand certain elements of the genre, which is always admirable even if it’s not the most successful album. I will say thought that I do prefer the more straight-forward albums that this band has including this new record.

This album accurately illustrates the hallmarks of what makes black metal music so near and dear to its fans while simultaneously encouraging the expansion of the genre and pushing the envelope as far a what these artists can accomplish. In a funny way, songs like “Slaves” incorporate classic heavy-metal riffing with the sonic production of a typical black metal record to make it a little more accessible and could even serve as an entry point for people who don’t know any black metal.

I have little doubt that even a casual black metal fan would have no problem enjoying this record. Very strong record from a very strong band.

Luke Helker

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