Crafteon - Cosmic Reawakening 01Cthulhu rises from the depths. Seawater cascades in waterfalls down its body; its colossal form dwarfs a nearby castle, a monument to mankind’s delusions of superiority as if it were some child’s plaything. The logo in the top left reads “Crafteon,” a nod to Lovecraftian1 fiction, complete with dangling tentacles. Sure, this album’s exterior presentation pretty much screams “Eldritch bait,” but you know what? This is my 50th review for AMG, and I feel like indulging my base impulses in celebration. Hailing from the cyclopean wastes of, um, Denver, Colorado, Crafteon’s unsigned debut, Cosmic Reawakening, might not touch The Great Old Ones as an aural representation of H.P. Lovecraft’s concepts and atmosphere, but it’s a fun, quirky black metal record that’s certainly worth a few spins.

Crafteon sports quite a unique sound, especially when stacked against other black metal bands past or present. Rhythmically speaking, they are hardly beholden to genre conventions; there are blastbeats to be found, yes, but many of their compositions have a positively bouncy feel thanks to drum patterns derived from traditional metal and punk rock. While not exactly jubilant in personality, this non-traditional approach gifts Cosmic Reawakening with a sense of levity essentially absent from most black metal albums. A bit of cursory research reveals that multiple members of Crafteon are fans of (and have participated in) power metal bands, which may offer an explanation for both the band’s easy going approach and the melodic lead guitar work. Don’t go in expecting overt cheese, though; this record is only tangentially related to power metal in the same way as, say, Skeletonwitch, accenting minor scale tremolo runs with the occasional bittersweet hook to provide emotional nuance. The rhythmic and melodic variety are absolutely Cosmic Reawakening’s strongest assets, and it achieves something most scant few black metal albums can: It’s charming.

Though unconventional, Crafteon still owes much to black metal’s Norwegian forebears; at times it reminds me of early Emperor sans keyboards (“The Outsider”), or even Hammerheart-era Bathory (“The White Ship”). Derivative compositions are more than welcome with such reliable influences, but when Cosmic Reawakening isn’t preoccupied with flipping the black metal script, it can feel a bit too safe in its execution; “The Temple” and “From Beyond,” for instance, employ chord progressions that have been recycled annually since the genre’s inception. Yet no track certainly qualifies as a “dud,” and even those two numbers contain some of my favorites moments on the record, each sporting tempo hikes in the back-half that inject a welcome dose of Dissection-like adrenaline into the proceedings.

Crafteon - Cosmic Reawakening 02

Regardless of whether Crafteon is performing straightforward black metal or black ‘n’ roll seemingly inspired by Misfits (“The Whisperer in the Dark”), the instrumentation can come across as stiff. The drums in particular, though good from a technical standpoint, feel a bit robotic, and occasionally it sounds like the guitarists are rushing the note progressions by a hair. Lord Mordi’s2 vocal performance, however, is a perfect fit for Crafteon’s multi-faceted aesthetic, as he delivers Inquisition frog croaks and Summoning-esque whispery rasps with equal panache. The production, like the performances, is a bit of a mixed bag. The dripping reverb applied to the drums and vocals provide Cosmic Reawakening with an appropriately otherworldly aesthetic, but the drums are a bit buried in the mix while the bass is mixed ridiculously high. All of these engineering choices add up to a rather loud album with an unmistakable sound that, as a result of my affinity for unconventional production jobs, mostly won me over in the end.

Lovecraftian themes in metal are, admittedly, an increasingly tired prospect, but while Crafteon is not quite able to stand toe to toe with the big names in Lovecraftian metal just yet, this is an undeniably exciting project. A bit of polish and a little more consistency will do this band wonders, yet Cosmic Reawakening is a totally memorable and undeniably fun listen as is, if not necessarily the best thing you’ll hear in the genre this year. If you decide to check it out (and you should if you’re a fan of melodic black metal), I recommend picking up the CD version; the band was kind enough to include a PDF of the album booklet with the promo we were sent, and the unique art and text layouts are just as charming as the music itself.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Released
Websites: crafteon.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/crafteon
Releases Worldwide: August 25th, 2017

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  1. Get it? Huh? Do ya?
  2. Yes, this is one of those bands.
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  • sir_c

    Instead of a bit of polish, add a bit of Polish to make it shine

    Doesn’t sound bad, this stuff

  • Planex

    I’ve never seen a day here where there were three albums that I’m super into. This is great. Do this every day

    • Nyet!

      • jetblindracos

        Are you hiding today?

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      Zapraszamy

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Oh Brutalist Receptacle, I wonder if your theme song is Pantera’s “Primal Concrete Sledge” with the lyrics changed to “Concrete Garbage Can”

  • The Unicorn

    Bass sounds fucking great.

    • I wouldn’t say it’s mixed ridiculously high either. I’d say it’s normally mixed ridiculously low. It sounds fantastic here.

      I’m also impressed with the music itself from the few tracks I’ve heard. It has a real drive to it. It reminds a little of modern Satyricon (not the last album). New Satyricon track is very promising too.

      • Name’s Dalton

        I rather enjoyed the last Satyricon album.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Hi Unicorn, nice to see you around again!

      • The Unicorn

        Good Day my friend! HORNS UP!!!

    • jetblindracos

      True.The bass sound alone is worth it.

    • Akerblogger

      I love a tasty bass. This will go nicely with Xoth’s release last year.

  • Nukenado

    “black metal”
    “punk rock”
    That’s it, instant add to wishlist.
    I still spin Rise Against and Bad Religion on a frequent basis… And Funeral Dreams is one of my most listened-to songs in my short, millenial life.

    Poseur wet dream!

    • Nukenado

      Also, congrads on your 50th review, EE!

      • Name’s Dalton

        Huzzah!

      • Eldritch Elitist

        Here’s to 50 more!

        • Nukenado

          Fifty more reviews, fifty more lashes from HR!

    • Master of Muppets

      I never play Funeral Dreams merely once, same with Viaticum. That whole album is just dope.

      • Nukenado

        I’m going on a family road trip tomorrow, and I’m planning on playing Aokigahara and III: Trauma in the car in its entirety. My elementery school brother can hum the opening lines of Funeral Dreams. I hope I can get a family scream-along together on my trip.

        Calling The Rain and Funeral Dreams must be listened to together for me. I pair Viaticum together with Dry the River personally.

  • Wes Allen
    • Nag Dammit

      Dude! That picture is so like ridiculous man. He has 5 fingers on his left hand.

      • Having 5 fingers on the left hand tends to be normal outside of Chernobyl ;)
        Having five fingers tends to be fairly uncommon in comic book format, though, and six fingers is bloody unheard of.

        • Nag Dammit

          Haha. I was referring to fingers as in non-thumbs. But you’re right about the formats. Guess I’ve been watching too much Gravity Falls with my kids.

  • jetblindracos

    Look!,AMG clones.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I really like the artwork! Looks like Cthulhu had a nice day at the beach!

    • Mollusc

      It’s a bit like they were trying to describe the Gateway to the Antisphere cover to the artist over the phone. “We want something like that with the beast coming out of the sea,and a cliff…”

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        And the result looks like the cover for a conceptual Surf Rock album about Cthulhu.

        • Mollusc

          Gnarly.

  • Aguy

    I… don’t know how to feel about this. It’s fun. Black metal isn’t supposed to be fun.

    This is power metal for orcs. This is the soundtrack for sweeping into the human lands on your warbeasts, burning their villages, and cheering on your tribe’s bloodboss as he crushes their stupid paladin, and then setting up a pyre to your god so he can shroud your new territory from the blinding sun with clouds of foul smoke.

    I think I just sold myself on it.

    • Akerblogger

      Are you writing a World Of Warcraft black metal concept album?

      • Aguy

        No, but I think Crafteon was and didn’t know it.

    • Master of Muppets

      Black metal’s not supposed to be fun, you say? I see your stavnch refvsal of joy and raise you one Crusty Old Toad, Turn People Into Food.

      • Nukenado

        Okay, so I finally checked out Crusty Old Toad.
        A meloblack band that sings about ice cream trucks, getting caught watching porn, peace-loving hipster hellspawn, post-apocalyptic sex and other perverted shit worthy of a Japanese h-game.

        Featuring choice lyrics such as:
        ” ‘She took my dick, she took my pride
        She took me along for a fuckin’ ride
        I lost what was most important to me
        I’m telling you she’s evil, please believe!’ ”

        “Demonic screams engulf
        The space in which I dwell
        Autofill has put me
        In a new kind of hell ”

        I fucking love you Drew.

      • Nukenado

        HOLY SHIT NAME YOUR FUCKING PRICE

        • Master of Muppets

          Right? That and the name drew me in, but man was I happy when I heard how awesome the music is. Glad to help, tell yo friends!

          • Nukenado

            Hell yeah!

          • Master of Muppets

            If the powers that be allow me the honor of bestowing TYMHM’s upon the masses, I plan on blowing you peoples’s minds. I’m slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with on Bandcamp, and my ventures have yielded many an absolute beast of an undiscovered gem, the likes of which I desperately hope to be able to inflict upon the world. I adore this site, but we can only cover so much and (most of) you people deserve to know the other great shit that’s out there. My absolute greatest joy in life is introducing people to undiscovered musical masterpieces, so thanks for playing along. If you give me a sub genre preference, I’ll hit you up sometime tomorrow with a suggestion or several for indulging me in this little gush rant.

          • Nukenado

            Heeeeeelllllllllll yeah!
            I… honestly have no subgenre preference.
            I just enjoy melodic poser shit and big fat hooks, melodic or rhythmic.

            Punk and depressive black or post black would be nice. I just need music to get me through high school.

            (BTW, so fucking conflicted on what my second legal purchase wuld be. I’m on my way to a part time job, and my wishlist’s so fucking full I can’t choose. Should I send Dr Fisting money and get Trials? Wait for DSO? Listen to Roquentin and get The Body or Author & Punisher? It’s currently squeezing a mammoth through a pinhole.)

            Actually, now I think about it, Name Your Price would be nice. I’m really not a fan of pirating anymore.

          • Master of Muppets

            Holy Hell, didn’t realize what I was working with here, but brace yoself: you in for the full Drewciferian Outlook on Music
            First off, as a pseudo-anarchist (it’s 2017, anarchism isn’t possible anymore) I might not condone currency, but I recognize its presence in today’s society, and as such my two ironic cents would say pump your dollars into every NYP album you find within your preferred genre spectrums. Your library will grow a pittance at a time, and you will still be supporting artists you love, no matter how few dollars at a time.
            Second: ignore reviews, even the ones here. I don’t care if AMG Himself assigns a 5.0 to something, look up what YOU want to look up. Doesn’t matter if it’s the cover art, lyrics or band history that grabs you, just check out any and everything that calls to you. There are no right choices when it comes to albums that grab you, and a bad review can lead to true gold being ignored (Anomalie, Heretoir, and Tchornobog being perfect site-specific examples), you are always better off trusting your gut than our words. Taste is subjective and there are no wrong answers, you can love this site all you want but please don’t arbitrarily herald it as the be-all-end-all source of new metals.
            Thirdly: look for things within sub genres that you typically despise yet receive mass praise, and familiarize yourself with them. Whether it sounds good or not, you’ll never know where the bar is until you discover who’s setting it. Even if you hate a sub genre, know where it’s being taken at all times and stay open to the envelope being pushed. Maybe you hate blackened death metal, then maybe you hear Arallu and it clicks: no genre is without merit, and you must never judge a book by its cover, good tunes are good tunes no matter what they call themselves.
            Fourth, and probably most importantly: listen to what you want to listen to. Fuck any pretense of kvltness or the like. If something calls to you, answer. Let it pull you in and drown you in the tides of its own existence, and fuck what anyone has to say about it. Seriously, if I can impose any one bit of knowledge on you, I want it to be this: never let anyone but yourself dictate what music you will or won’t listen to. You live in a time when you can access any given song within any realm of music at the tap of a finger, do not waste that on popular opinions and mass approval. Like what you like, fuck anyone else.
            Long story still long but summarized into shortness: don’t let anyone but you decide what you think is good music. Explore EVERYTHING, you will be pleasantly surprised more often than not. It could be power metal, it could be djent, it could be death-core, doesn’t matter: above all else, never let anyone but you tell you what you should be listening to.
            /EndRant
            PS I’ll still give you specific suggestions tomorrow, but while I’m buzzed and waxing philosophical I figure the wisdom will have to do for now.

          • Nukenado

            Wow…
            Thanks for the huge response.
            About 1.
            Yeah. Totally get it. I’m a huge fucking capitalist. I totally understand how I should support bands. It’s just that with my current situation I have to take it slow. I hope to start buying records once I get a job (which will be hopefully be before December).
            About NYP albums… I do still leave NYP albums on my wishlist. Some of those guys really do need support.

            2. I regularly check EM, but that’s about it honestly. I guess I should go to Bandcamp more often.

            3. Totally agree with you there. I do listen to a few bands from genres I don’t really touch (Anaal Nathrakh, Dodecahedron). Just not really my thing currently.

            4. Thanks. Just… Yeah. Thanks a bunch for that. I do agree that music is a pretty personal thing. Will keep that in mind.

            I feel like My reply doesn’t really live up to your huge multi-paragraph behomoth here… So… Thanks again!
            I really, really appreciate it.

          • Master of Muppets

            I’m digitally verbose and intoxicated, you were never gonna out-talk me. Thanks for reading it all, and I truly hope that you take point 4 super cereal. Following the crowd gets us more Five Finger Butt Punches, digging on your own gets you Slow, Mavradoxa, Dormant Ideal, King Apathy, and so much more.
            On that note, given your response, if I can suggest one band right now it’d be King Apathy, but I will definitely return to this in a day or two and hopefully expose you to some hitherto undiscovered greatness.
            Til then, thanks for playing along. Aside from the probationary reviewer status, this kind of give and take is what I live for as a music fan, and it gives me hope knowing that there are still people out there who are putting an effort into finding exceptional music. Thanks for being you, I hope your road to metal glory is long and colorful, and may it be unending.

          • Nukenado

            Hah… Was just listening to Smokestacks from King Apathy (they’ve changed names!) as we spole. Never missed them, one of my first reviews read on this site. Added to wishlist a long time ago alongside HftS.
            One of the best things I came across while digging was probably The Body, although that was due to a footnote in a year end list (Roquentin’s.)
            Holy shit are they cool. Angry and depressed. Been on a drone/doom kick ever since, Author and Punisher and The Body’s Bandcamp pages are often open in my browser.

          • Nukenado

            Seriously, “No One Deserves Happiness” is fucking amazing. I’d gladly dish out my second CD to them.
            Once McDonalds hires me. Those bastards… What employer doesn’t want Asian immigrant child labour?! I’ll go for lifeguarding if I get rejected once more. I WANT TO BUY MUSIC ARGGGGGH

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      C’mon, Black Metal can be fun. Venom, Finntroll, FOAD-era Darkthrone, Blood Cult, Whiskey Ritual, Devil in the Kitchen, photos of Immortal, making fun of Liturgy….

    • Dudeguy Jones

      fuck man, you sold me!!

  • Mollusc

    Chthulu cares not for your corpse paint.

  • VikingSchism

    Whenever I see an Eldritch Elitist review that’s positive, I know that I’ll almost definitely enjoy the album, and this is no exception – I really love this from what I’ve listened to, reminds me of both Xoth and a bit of The Great Old Ones

    • Eldritch Elitist

      That’s really cool to hear. It means a lot that my shit actually manages to stand out to someone in a collective of stupidly talented writers.

  • Kryopsis

    Chiefly because of the Lovecraftian themes, I would have ignored this band completely if not for this review. At this point, all Cthulhu Mythos-inspired Metal bands blur together in my mind, presenting a stagnating and decaying amorphous blob that smells vaguely of ballpoint pen ink, dust from late library books and with a hint of fried octopus. I’m drawing a blank when it comes to the last Lovecraftian Metal album I heard, but it was probably called something like ‘Amongst the Altars of Occult Sumerian Legions’ by The Great Sulfur Chthe’ilist.

    Anyway, what immediately appealed to me in this review is that there was absolutely no cynicism or sarcasm. The entire article is a genuine attempt to understand and appreciate a band, being mindful of its flaws but never condemning the artists for imperfection. In no way was the review used as an excuse to force the author’s ‘objective’ aesthetic judgement down the reader’s throat. While AMG-dot-com frequently publishes quality articles, it’s always a pleasure to read something earnest and without a shadow of pretence. Thank you, Eldritch Elitist. While I’ve read your work before, I will definitely keep an eye out for your future contributions!

    Really enjoyable album, incidentally. Definitely ‘upbeat’ for Black Metal and the Skeletonwitch mention is more than justified.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      No, thank you!

  • MITCH TRVBISKY

    Bass in the embedded track is making my eyes roll to the back of my head.

  • Dagoth_RAC

    I like this. I like this a lot. But we need more Yog-Sothoth metal and less Cthulhu metal.

  • Nukenado

    If you look closely at the band photo, all of them are smiling.
    Cthulu loves you!