On this day Iron Bonehead Production releases Keziah Lilith Medea (Chapter X), the fourth album by the Chilean death cult Unaussprechlichen Kulten, and with dread and trembling we bring you a full stream of all 8 songs.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the album is being released on the anniversary of the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, which resulted in the imprisonment of more than 200 accused people, the execution of 19, and the perishing of still others during imprisonment. As developed not only through the music but also in the 12 pages of the album’s booklet, this new album had a specific conceptual underpinning. As the band has explained:
“This Chapter is inspired by women, the persecution against them by the Holy Office Sacred Congregation (The Inquisition), their essential role in the myth and legend, their place at the witches’ Sabbath, and the profound fear they spread — and still do — in mankind under the concept of Witch.”
“The ancient pagan cults awarded a leading role to the woman inside the spiritual. However, in medieval Europe, among other things, the exaggeration of the divinity and chastity of the feminine, the exaltation of virginity and motherhood as unique roles for women — the image of the Virgin Mary — create a shadow, a mirror image, an opposite principle. The repression of sexuality and denial of the Soror Mystica incubated a mysterious, dark, and evil female image.”
Consistent with the album’s inspiration, there is indeed an air of witchery about the music, a paradoxical grace and sense of mystery that works hand-in-glove with the music’s dizzying explosiveness and skull-fracturing brutishness. The band deal out not only ferocious death metal frenzies that conjure wild beasts tearing their prey limb from limb, they filigree these rampaging black onslaughts with lightning flashes of swirling, dissonant, alien melody, off-speed passages fed by bubbling bass notes and tension-ratcheting slitherings of serpentine guitar, and ominous introductory preparations of piano and symphonic sound.
At full throttle, the speed and barbarous force of the music is overpowering, fueled by technically pyrotechnic fretwork and torrential drumming, creating pulse-pounding whirlwinds of inhuman black/death cruelty. When the band ease the pace, they don’t ease the music’s overarching sense of paranormal peril and otherworldly strangeness, but they do pull the listener’s mind into a labyrinth of freakishly seductive ruminations and psychedelic visions.
Devotees of technical death metal will find a lot to like about the eye-popping speed and exuberant inventiveness of the instrumental performances. Fans of occult black/death will find a lot to like, too, because the music can be foul, oppressive, and demonically vicious, too. And for people who like their death metal to take detours into the festering decay and groaning hopelessness of doom, you’ll find the band turning corners into those catacombs of despair as well. And on top of all that, Unaussprechlichen Kulten also lift the music into realms of dramatic and terrible majesty.
In short, this is a wonderfully multi-faceted album that’s ceaselessly absorbing as well as disorienting and destructive, and no doubt the band’s best work yet. Highly recommended.
As noted, Keziah Lilith Medea (Chapter X) is available today from Iron Bonehead. Order here: