Seven Crowns And Seven Seals
Review by Michael on September 23, 2023.
With Seven Crowns And Seven Seals the German Lovecraft worshippers release their fourth (and at least by me long-awaited) album. If the guys from the Ruhr area, who have grown to a quintet since 2018, have looked more and more in the direction of black metal on their last albums in addition to gloomy death metal, these influences have been significantly reduced on Seven Crowns And Seven Seals in favor of more classic metal influences and a very appealing atmosphere to spread.
The band starts with a very spherical and melancholic intro ('Sombre Tidings') before they mercilessly let the hammer strike with their first real song 'Hammer From The Howling Void'. At least for the first forty seconds, because from then on very atmospheric and thoughtful passages, which come across very melodic, creep into the song again and again. And that's exactly what runs as a red thread through the album, this atmosphere, which was in it already here and there on the previous albums, but not as superficial as on Sulphur Aeon 2023. If you don't want to wait so long for this atmosphere, but experience it directly, you should listen to the beginning of 'Usurper Of The Earth And Sea' - here you immediately get an oppressive feeling through the acoustic guitar and the whispered words and shortly after that the Lovecraftian inferno begins, what you are used to from Sulphur Aeon. Monolithic riffs, relentless growls and pounding drums that herald the end of the world. But as everywhere on the album not only dark storms and the end of the world prevail, not everywhere in between the sun shines again through misty wispy clouds and donates some comfort.
In the title track the band collaborates with Laurent from Chapel Of Disease as well as Michael Zech (Secrets Of The Moon), whereby a truly epic death metal song has come out, which is difficult to put into words. The song begins very majestic-dragging, so it turns in the course of the almost nine minutes in an all-consuming maelstrom of Lovecraftian madness. Shimmering guitars whisper around the ears of the listener and the clear vocals of M whisper warmly sung words to drag the listener even further into the vastness of madness. Alone these clear vocals is another, although not entirely new, feature that the incredible span of the music of Sulphur Aeon again expanded by a considerable way and makes it much more accessible than it was the case before. And for the crowning conclusion Sulphur Aeon summoned a few Mesopotamian gods 'Beneath The Ziqqurat'. Here the band shows once again all their skills and ignites a real death metal firework and so intense that you can definitely get goosebumps listening to one or the other part.
It is truly difficult for me to put this monster of an album into the right words, but it is certain that Sulphur Aeon have surpassed themselves with Seven Crowns And Seven Seals. I would not have thought that they could have gone one better after the already superb The Scythe And Cosmic Chaos, but they have taught me better. However, they now also set the bar very high for the next album. But now the time has come to appreciate this fantastic album accordingly. Only one thing remains for me, namely to award the highest score.
Rating: 10 out of 10 ziqqurats655