Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath

by Cory Van der Pol
August 2, 2014 –

unaussprechlichten_kulten-baphomet_pan_shub-niggurath

Named after a fictional work of occult literature in the Cthulhu mythos by H.P. Lovecraft, the “nameless cults” give their name also to this band who create modern death metal that remains true to the death metal style. Like Immolation circa 2000, carefully tuned guitars and use of odd diminished melodies create a suspension of reality that a rhythmic approach like that of the Deathspell Omega era “progressive” black metal complements and expands.

Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath cites from fully four generations of metal, mixing speed metal riffs with modern black metal and the aforementioned dissonant and complex death metal, but sometimes slides in old school death metal riffs and transitions reminiscent of the hybrid era of underground metal in the early 1980s. The tendency to offset rhythms to insert additional riffs comes from the newer style of black metal, which permits groove so long as it is disturbingly detached from consistent expectations, but the core of this album comes from the streamlining of death metal in the early years of this century that brought different chord shapes and dramatic conclusions to the genre.

Other influences work their way in here including a use of plodding cadences that would have fit onto a God Macabre or Afflicted album. Songs work riffs into a circular pattern that always returns to familiar themes for choruses but splits verses across multiple riffs using a Slayer-inspired pattern of working in a precursor riff, then changing riff, and then altering its texture and tempo with layers of drums, bass and vocals. Then the song culminates much like later black metal in a kind of revelation which melts down into the soup of primordial riff ideas that earlier served to introduce or complement themes.

For contemporary metal, Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath keeps its focus more firmly in the continuance of past traditions into the future than bands like Immolation managed. It does carry the tendency to be too emotive on its surface like Deathspell Omega, which leads to technique replacing content, but keeps this in line. This work impresses with the first couple listens and while it will undoubtedly socket itself into the secondary tier of death metal bands, crushes most of its contemporaries handily and displays a blueprint for death metal to get out of the metalcore funk and back to a newer version of its roots.

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22 comments

  • Richard Head

    No link to streaming music? What, I gotta go to youtube and look it up *myself*?

    Intruiging description of the music; I’m interested to hear how these different eras of metal style are synthesized. Will check this out thanks to the cover art which features all of my favorite things; impossible celestial geometry, furry dickgirls, and tentacle sex. Sold.

  • puzzled

    Their 7″ Chthulhu-Poseidon-Lucifer was refreshing and fun, with a powerfully blatant/unashamed Morbid Angel riff. Looking forward to hearing this.

    I listened to Fallujah recently but I should have known better, it was really depressing – pretty on the surface and so hollow it just seemed to suck the life out of all other music for days afterwards. Something healthily traditional like this should be a good corrective.

    1. Richard Head

      Really? Listened to Fallijah? Why? I did the same thing and still don’t understand why. Except that there were tits on the album cover. I blame that for sucking me in.

      1. puzzled

        Why… someone underneath mentioned Mike Browning. I checked out his new project Voodoo Gods – for similar reasons, I really wanted to hear something new and maybe interesting. I thought maybe a Nile-style thematic DM “supergroup” was a good idea, like I thought a tech death metal band with a gloss of shoegaze style guitar atmospherics was a good idea. So wrong on both counts. Here’s a nice moment in a review of the Voodoo Gods album from voicesfromthedarkside.de, where the reviewer gets it all wrong and Frank Stöver puts him in his place:

        “I can not imagine any Metal fan being frustrated by this release (well, then I’m probably number one here Mirco, because I find this release totally annoying, with all its mass appeal type ingredients – from the typical modern production to the guitar hero like soloing and overall mainstream-ish songwriting… everything sounds so completely calculated to me and the album has no soul at all! Stuff like this was the reason why I already started to lose interest in Metal more than once – Frank).”

        I think Fallujah is like that Caliban-style metalcore, with the huge emotive choruses embedded uin some angry flailing. I get the impression that what they really want to do is write something that both Katy Perry and U2 would produce. That Fallujah thing bothered me, something about their sound and songwriting is just depressing as fuck.

        1. Richard Head

          I guess. Shit just sounds like it was performed by robots, programmed by some recursive function that produces composites of modern-day popular music styles, and targeted specifically at 17-year olds who just started playing the guitar and don’t want to go to church with their parents any more.

      1. veien

        Fucking shit penis if you ask me! It’s what I’d refer to as a ‘soft-on’, ‘half-on’ or some other weak shit, not a proper hard-on. A M.A.N.S lust-rod should be as solid as fucking diamond and kept sacred not this depraved shit what the hell is it with you people..?!

  • ksava

    Any recommendations for other UK releases? Didn’t they have a split with Mike Brownings’ After Death?

    1. trystero

      UK releases full stop? Anywhere/anytime? I would recommend pretty much all of Malediction`s work. Some of it is half done but unique and interesting, some of it cooumes close to A metal, some of it IS A metal. Too bad they never put out a decent release early in their career but oh well.

      For fans of european (non-swedish) death metal and good music in general. It beats this Namesless Cult to death for sure.

      Also, nice to see you around.

  • Long Dong Shui

    Bands like this typically display heteronormative behavior yet proudly display the hermaphroditic Baphomet. I do enjoy that goat’s penis but what is it about a goat with tits and a cock that emanates vir? Is it the veins?

    1. Richard Head

      The phallus is a symbol of individual will, specifically, talking of occult/pagan mythological symbols.

      However Baphomet as we know and love him was drawn to reflect dualities originally, the most obvious being male/female. The goat head on the human body shows the animal/human struggle of self-awareness and instinct. Baphomet’s right arm points upward while the other points below, and on either arm is written a word; “solve” and “coagula” (division and unity, respectively). The crescent moons, wings, and horns refer more specifically to the pagan perspective of the binary nature of Things.

  • fenrir

    has this even been released yet? can’t find it anywhere except in some obscure reviews from… Chile?

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