“Cosmic Reawakening” is the first album from American black metal band Crafteon. The band’s approach to the subgenre is not entirely derivative, as they opt for a more heavy metal-based sound. Of course, the staple techniques of black metal are present on this record, but Crafteon isn’t afraid to mix things up with some simpler heavy metal riffing occasionally. Like much black metal, the music sometimes wanders aimlessly, with no clear goal in sight. This isn’t inherently problematic, however, as Crafteon aims to build a dark atmosphere through their music, and the winding path the music takes is effective at achieving this. It helps that the production perfectly complements the band’s sound. This album is far from lo-fi, but it has an echo to it that makes the vocals and the drums in particular feel somewhat distant. The end result is that the guitars and, surprisingly, the bass, take center stage. Both “Dagon” and “The Colour Out of Space” stand out as tracks with excellent low-end work, but there is no shortage of great bass lines.
Though “Cosmic Reawakening” is authentic-sounding black metal, it struggles to be anything more than that. The aimless song structures result in few memorable moments, and though the mid-paced pounding tempos are preferable to the hyperfast blasting of most black metal, they aren’t particularly impactful after you’ve heard them a few times. Many tracks offer an endless array of 16th note double bass beneath quarter or eighth note chugging guitars. The half-growled, half-shrieked vocals let out tortured screams atop this straightforward approach. Occasionally, the band’s drummer will double up on speed, resulting in a more aggressive sound. No matter what Crafteon is doing, they do it well. Not much can be said beyond this because unless you’re a major black metal fan, this album isn’t one you’ll likely revisit. It deserves all the credit in the world for being competently put together and true to more mid-paced black metal, but it lacks some of the brilliance of the subgenre’s heavy hitters.
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"The Colour Out of Space"
3.6/5 or 72%.