By now, UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN require little introduction. For nearly 25 years, this Chilean cult have built a commanding canon of eldritch death metal DARKNESS. From their early demos to later splits and especially their preceding five full-lengths – not least of which, 2014’s Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath, 2017’s Keziah Lilith Medea (Chapter X), and 2019’s Teufelsbücher, all released by IRON BONEHEAD to widespread critical acclaim – UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN have explored the furthest reaches of primordial dread and ancient mysticism, all through pure ‘n’ authentic Metal of Death. That their vision has only become more intense and mesmerizing, after so many years (and when so many bands sputter to obsolescence), is some strange magick indeed…
Witness Häxan Sabaoth. Both a culmination of their characteristic aesthetic and a whole new, supernatural twist upon it, Häxan Sabaoth sees UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN fusing clanging angularity with haunting atmospherics, delirious chaos with eerie melodicism, epic narrative with primal crush – essentially, an extrapolation (and intensification) of seemingly polar opposites. And yet, through that same strange magick, the Chileans conjure a tableau that’s undeniably their vastest and most violent to date. Riffs and rhythms pound and mutate with hypnotic ease, breaking down the listener’s will; momentum becomes slipstreaming, with dread sounds bubbling up from every crevasse of this abyss; motifs then flicker with frightening clarity before disintegrating into something equally dread-inducing. For however “pure” and primordial UNAUSSPECHLICHEN KULTEN’s death metal is, there’s’ daresay a newfound grace across Häxan Sabaoth – malodorous and miasmic, yes, but it effectively lends an airiness to what’s already an exceptionally dense & dissonant foundation. Likewise, the considerably cleaner production ably intensifies the atmosphere with no sacrifice in physicality. That the cover art manages to capture this whole dichotomy is surely no accident.
Many words could (and should) be written about this accomplishment, but the short of it is that UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN here have daringly raised an impossibly high bar. Häxan Sabaoth is their grandest achievement yet, and guaranteed to be one of this decade’s defining death metal tomes.