Xul Ov Kvlten – Entropic Increase From the Omega Aeon (2019) REVIEW

Manifesto designed to win credence among the philosophically obscured and machine-ground thinker must approach with drastic results in hand, or drastic acts in mind, to retain the ‘edge’ of coming revolt. Neither land-thieving emperor, callous usurper, nor sworn grand inquisitor historically charmed with fanfare or art but with salable blade and ever-flowing blood; That blood, anemic and untouched by ancient magick, would be their ink of illustration. A flaccid pinkish swipe of low communal value among mentally withering men who’d rule over hogs for their ichor for the sake of cynical, inbred legacies. A freshly acquired slaughterhouse in the hands of the people is yet a killing machine, though, a newly feigned peace among the soon extinct — A great cacophony of diseased, rotten, cannibalized corpses burnt to a crisp in a nearby end. Dignity is that drastic result in every case, an intermediate weapon that when waged finds rubber bullets turned to leaden flak in mid-air. Any system with this predispositioned entropic force generates an all-or-nothing response where death begat death and the end complete is unavoidable, though any worthwhile scientist understands this situation is reversible by design. What manifesto of chaos magick, occult knowledge, and greater philosophical evils aims beyond the enfeebled constancy of men into the aethyr and survives? Santiago, Chile symphonic black/death metal act Xul Ov Kvlten take a wild and ripping stab at it, begrudging the dimming mental drive of todays cattle through conjuration of eternal cosmic horrors on this sonic embodiment of ancient evil, ‘Entropic Increase From the Omega Aeon’.

Though it was of very fine quality and clearly a meaningful learning experience for the core duo of the band after the passing of their original drummer, the first ‘album’ from Xul Ov Kvlten (‘Nitimur in Vetitum‘, 2016) was perhaps terminally elite. In fact it was incredibly limited in terms of physical release and even when padded out with a demo version of the closing track it’d remain sub-30 minutes in length. That orthodoxy, an almost Katharsis styled bristle, could be considered a strong demo when placed alongside the extensive and fully realized vision of ‘Entropic Increase From the Omega Aeon’. Taking thematic and lyrical influence from Inquisition, modus and greater blueprint from Emperor, alongside a concerted study of the occult blackened death metal underground past and present Xul Ov Kvlten now appear more serious and exponentially professional on thier second release. With death blasts and keyboards/synths geared for melodic prominence there could’ve been three decades of mistakes to recreate here on ‘Entropic Increase From the Omega Aeon’ but instead these Chilean fellowes find a warmly traditional place to craft their own sharply hewn unorthodoxy from.

All manner of obscurities can be dragged out to better explain why a ‘symphonic’ extreme metal band might be interesting beyond 2005 and the most pressing one from my point of view comes from Mexican melodic death/black oddity Demolish who’d never gotten their dues for bold and well-modulated keyboard work back in the mid-to-late 90’s. Secondly, the more overtly dark side of Nocturnus influenced metal a la the second Eternal Dirge album or even Luciferion applies here just as much as any random symphonic or melodic black metal album might. Lastly, I couldn’t make it through this review without pointing towards Ancient Rites various revolutions for comparison. The keyboard work itself isn’t the major leading instrument but rather an extra melodic device to create atmospheric transitions and energetic apices amongst this nearly full hour long opus. Beyond this (relatively speaking) unique sound the main signifier between the two records from Xul Ov Kvlten remains their melodic sense and ‘Entropic Increase From the Omega Aeon’ is full of strong melodic black metal riffs, brutally majestic runs that tie together nine extended and complexly inter-woven pieces. From the Sphinx-envisioned “Ascend Pathos Signis Dómini”, the avant-theatrics of the title track, and the brutal trance-like state provided by “The Primordial Chaos Synthesis” each standout piece justifies the size and scope of ‘Entropic Increase From the Omega Aeon’ though I can’t help but think cutting at least one song might’ve made it less daunting during initial listens.

Don’t let my prattling convince you this is anything less than a Chilean black/death metal record, though. It is in fact a particularly refined one considering the bulk of solid occult hybrids cropping up across the country as of late; Blasts are rabid, vocal patterns twist and turn in sway with guitar riffs that come fast in creation of memorable points of fluidity and sheer attack. That black/death attack is everything and helps make this album infinitely repeatable alongside some of the catchier atmospheric keyboard flourishes that adorn said attack. The title track is a grand highlight in this sense, crunching out the gate with a barking decree and foreboding death metal riff that evolves into a barn-storming, cosmos-scorching black metal song that smartly incorporates guttural blasting death to transition between certain verses. Familiar and occasionally referential as they occasionally are, Xul Ov Kvlten appear so deeply entrenched in their own spirited cosmic manifesto that ‘Entropic Increase From the Omega Aeon’ becomes a magnetically thoughtful curio to delve into, a fine piece to glean excitement and lasting value from.

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Artist Xul Ov Kvlten
Type Album
Released October 4, 2019
BUY & LISTEN on Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum’s Bandcamp! Follow Xul ov Kvlten on Facebook
Genre Black/Death Metal
Symphonic/Melodic Black Metal

Moderately high recommendation. 4.0/5.0

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