The Cosmic Cauldron
Review by Benjamin on January 22, 2022.
Although a small number of bands have managed to escape the Hungarian underground over the years, most importantly Tormentor, the nation’s contribution to the genre has perhaps not quite been the equal of some of their neighbors. Needless are aiming to change that with the release of their second full-length The Cosmic Cauldron, a fizzing slice of rampaging sci-fi themed death metal, broadly in the vein of The Black Dahlia Murder, or even Edge Of Sanity.
Sitting very much at the moderately technical and thrashier end of the spectrum, what Needless lack in brutality, they make up for in grin-inducing twin guitar leads, with the galloping Dark Tranquillity-meets-Iron Maiden thrill of ‘Astrogate The Spectral Lane’ a standout track for this reason. Not content to rest on their laurels, the band are also happy to throw a few curveballs, not least ‘Planet Oblivion’, which is the sort of gothic rock that you might expect from Within Temptation or Lacuna Coil. Although it is good to hear a band that are keen to stretch themselves, they are undoubtedly at their best on the more aggressive up-tempo material, particularly when the crystalline and precise LaRoque-style legato runs take primacy, as they do on the stellar closer ‘Transgalactic’. Apart from that track, the album is a little front-loaded, not quite sustaining the eyebrow-raising excitement of the opening tracks during the middle section of the record. Some judicious editing would sharpen the cutting edge of the album without compromising their vision, but there is plenty to enjoy here, and the band have should enjoy a wide appeal.
It’s easy to imagine fans of Machine Head and Killswitch Engage getting plenty out of this, but likewise so will grizzled death metallers clinging on to their greying Obituary t-shirts, and the expansive nature of some sparkling instrumental interplay should ensure that this is an album that will reward the repeat visits that it surely deserves.
Rating: 7.3 out of 10419