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MIRUTHAN: Cult Of The Dead

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April 26


Described as the pioneering force in the realm of Dark Folklore and Blackened Death Metal, Australian metal outfit Miruthan are certainly not a band for the faint-hearted.

But aside from that, I know little about these cloaked metal warriors, so what better way to get myself acquainted than by having a listen to the band’s new EP Cult Of The Dead, which will infiltrate the masses in all of its glory on April 26.

Opening with Survived The Blast there is an eerie sense of foreboding that descends from the outset, the air thick with chanting and desolation before the guitars begin to swirl more menacingly and the drums lurch into overdrive to usher in a deathly wave of harsh vocals that smother the landscape and commit you to an eternal pit of suffering.

But in a good way.

The layered vocals add to the uneasiness and depth of Miruthan’s music, overlapping each other in a swarm of menace that is only ever lessened by the occasion spurt of guitars. The drumming is frenetic and intense, creating a sense of urgency in the face of despair that suggests resistance is futile.

Whereas most music like this quickly starts to become an elongated mess to my ears, so far Miruthan have threaded the tightrope between destruction for the sake of it and that intended to accentuate the music well.

At The Barricades is next and fires up on the back of a pounding drum intro that is soon enveloped by the now familiar atmospherics that highlight much of Miruthan’s music.

A deliberately lazy slap on the guitar strings acts as a segue into more impending doom, with gang vocals atop fast as fuck double kicks providing a sense of escapism – or someone trying to escape the clutches of death.

There is actually quite a lot going on here, and the intricacies of the music could easily get lost in the maelstrom of discontent. But, surprisingly, I am keeping up (at least I think I am) and enjoying the convulsing ride of decay that Miruthan are taking me on.

There are moments in this track that feel like an incantation of sorts before a melancholy piece of music threatens to upset the status quo. This lasts only fleetingly, however, as the forces of darkness soon rise to quell this unwanted uprising with a frenetic war of sounds waging between drums and guitar.

The bass intrudes briefly with a well-placed run that only seems to anger the demonic forces once more who return to reclaim At The Barricades to its disturbing conclusion.

Into The Abyss washes to the surface with an air of ambience and relative calm as bells toll in the distance under a steady chant-like vocal presence that rises and falls to the beat of an unseen saviour. Around him, the music slowly denigrates into an abyss of petulance as guitars swirl aimlesslessly, taking flight as an opposing force to the flashes of Good that seem to be gathering momentum.

Harshly whispered vocals ignite the turmoil once more, ushering in a raging beast of unrestrained ferocity who threatens to send any notion of Goodness or healing back from whence it came in a screaming ball of pain.

The vocals are harsh and unforgiving, creating a divide of sorts between this realm and the next, never once pausing to let more than a glimpse of sunlight in to pierce the veil of darkness.

A wicked guitar solo enters the fray around the four-minute mark, a stuttering, forceful slab of sonic disparity that acts merely as a distraction while the forces of evil recharge their anger before spewing it forth with even more intent.

Drums and guitar lay the platform for Land Of The Damned, ushering forth another sonic descent into darkness.

I honestly have no idea what these guys are singing about, but you don’t need to understand to know what’s going on. A one-sided battle between good and evil that has the gates of Hell winning either by knockout or unanimous points decision.

This track features more guitar interplay, with a much cleaner and deliberate sound than on the preceding track.

Suddenly the music retreats and the harshness of the vocals is accentuated significantly. They really are frightening and imposing, acting as judge, jury and executioner in a war from which there can be only one victor.

The vocals are threatening and repelling, but no match for an insanely vicious drum solo of sorts that is almost too quick to be human.

Then the song pulls back once more as fiendishly intoxicating demonic whispers cover the sonic landscape before fading into the darkness, seemingly content with the lop-sided victory.

And that’s what Cult Of The Dead is. A musical victory of the darkest proportions. It is compelling, dense, divisive and brutal all at once.

And best of all, it makes no apologies for being so.

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