Review: Needless “The Cosmic Cauldron” [UPRISING! Records]

Review: Needless “The Cosmic Cauldron” [UPRISING! Records]

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I still remember back in 2015 when I wrote the review for Needles’s first EP The Dark spirit of Ages, being totally blow back by the band’s atmosphere, technicality and brilliant ever-changing vocals. Definitely standing as a discovery of the year in my personal opinion. Since then the band released their debut album Heresy expanding their sound, musicality and dare to say; unique sound.

The same could be said for their sophomore effort The Cosmic Cauldron released on Uprising! Records. A heavy, frenetic sonic work with constant tempo changes and relentless speed. The more you listen to the album the more you have a feeling that this might be the most musically talented metal group in this part of Europe, hands down. It is really that technical.

The album effortlessly combines death metal with efficient load of progressive elements, thrash/speed metal riffing and all that in a sci-fi concept story pack.

Now, the way I’m writing you would think I’m talking about an early bird for a metal album of the year. Well, perhaps to some; if you are into technical metal albums in general this will be the feast for the ages for you. You can really tell that the band pushed themselves for this one. Perhaps too much.

There are endless changes in songs, sometimes in its disadvantage. There are rarely any hooks in the tracks and even you feel in the groove, the track already switched and escalated the riffs/tempos around five times.

But here’s the issue; out of these five mentioned parts, perhaps two are really memorable. Almost like that the band was hitting all riffs what they have at their disposal and hoping that one hits at the right place. There are those who hits the right place: “The Predation” is the first track in the album that really captures you attention with its grand chorus with “Mournful Heavens” hitting at the close second.

But the track “Odium” perhaps presents the main problem of the album, it starts with a killer Judas Priest on steroids guitar tremolo with marching drums and you are just at the edge of your seat to get sucker-punched with the upcoming assault. The first punch happens and then song decides to get into a myriad of your typical melodic death metal riffs that just softens the overall impact and built. After one minute of that, the band hits with one of the best riffs in the album, absolute breakdown that makes you neck muscles twitch instantly. The issue is that it lasts barely twenty seconds, yet the same could not be told for the album’s last track “Transgalactic”, a 10 minute long epic that manages hits all the right slots without overreaching.

From a technical and vocal standpoint this is a very impressive record, but it’s also an example of how such can ruin your basic song composition. Sometimes less is more.

Score: 71/100

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