Albums often stand to gain from having a clear, strong and thematic concept. This goes for black metal albums as well as any other. Crafteon’s debut album, very much centered around precisely one such concept, is to be self released some time this summer after an upcoming crowdfunding campaign. Complicated are the ways of our brave new world.
Anyhoo, the clear, strong and thematic concept behind Cosmic Reawakening is nothing less than the work of that fine specimen of cosmic horror and political acumen, H.P. Lovecraft. While his work has influenced a great number of artists and albums throughout the history of dark music in general, Crafteon’s approach is refreshingly direct and straightforward. Each track is based on one, and only one, Lovecraft short story. This includes “The Outsider”, “From Beyond”, “The Colour Out of Space” and “The Whisperer in the Darkness” among others, and in each case the song title is the same as the short story title. The lyrics are all black metal song lyric renderings of the stories. No shenanigans here.
Musically we are talking very pure black metal of the more melodic sort. Not overly technical, but rather complex arrangement wise. Early Ancient and a host of melodic Swedish black metal bands like Lord Belial were the first comparisons that popped into my mind. The bass guitar lines and sound on some tracks is similar to Darkwoods My Betrothed’s on Heirs of the Northstar. More controversially: sometimes, Cosmic Reawakening sounds like a heavily stripped down version of Cradle of Filth – losing almost all the bells and whistles, but keeping some of the Gothic horror melodies and moods.
The production is top-notch, professional to a tee considering the bands unsigned status, and the choice to keep the bass guitar mostly clean or clean-ish makes for a great juxtaposition relative to the distorted guitars and growling, screaming vocals. The tempo is largely mid-paced, with several forays into slower as well as faster sections. The whole thing is competent, aggressive and preformed with dedication.
While it feels and is odd to review an album without a set release date, there is little doubt in my mind that Crafteon will manage to accrue the necessary funds and get this show on the road. Keep an eye on the band’s official Facebook page to keep yourself updated.