Review: “Cult of the Dead” by Miruthan

Describing themselves “survivors from a dystopian future overrun by the undead“, veiled Newcastle New South Wales Australian Blackened Death Metal eight piece Miruthan have promised a debut EP with a visceral and apocalyptic narrative of survival and malevolence for our listening displeasure. It follows standalone single “Aristotles Lyceum” which escaped the gates of hell upon the winds of plague in October 2023 and found the band combining influences in Melodic Black Metal and Death Metal with tales of Australian folklore, horror and darkness…

The tales of the post-apocalyptic realm begin with “Survived The Blast“, a cut of dark folklore and Blackened Death Metal that prises open the minds eye with a crowbar to show us the path to enlightenment. The quality of the recording is a little raw around the edges but was perhaps designed to be so with one toe in ice cold waters of Extreme Metal while the other foot is planted firmly in the molten lava of a fiery hell. Distinctive and dare we say it with a Mushroomhead like theatricality, there is a real pomp and circumstance buried underneath the savage outer shell with an eerie almost ethereal quality from almost choral vocal parts that linger in the background. In the foreground the vocal layering puts harsh male uncleans at the top with shriller female ones underneath as two of the bands four vocalists go toe to toe for the part of the lead vocalist. Their screams are as savage as the harrowing tales they tell, the spellbinding lyrical narrative entrancing. A thunderous drum sound is a huge part of the Miruthan sound and dominates the horizon, the nasty bass chug acting as a rhythm guitar at times during “At The Barricades“. Formidable and intense, the cut tells the tale of how Miruthan was forged in Hell, finding camaraderie in the face of evil and is delivered like a Death Metal hymn of scorching rage.

Synths and programming offer another dimension to the bands sound, building a majestically oppressive atmosphere to usher in the guitars at the start of “Into The Abyss“. Flavours of Cradle Of Filth are soaked into the fabric of this one, the band pushing into the realms of the darkly cinematic with some of their soundscapes. Draped elegantly over that backdrop is a tasteful solo that burns to be unleashed, however it doesn’t reach the virtuoso levels it hints at, the band choosing the blade of their pulverising rhythmic aggression over something sharper. Pushing the sinister and menacing envelope “Land Of The Damned” sounds like it was inspired by George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead with cleverly worked rampaging moments sandwiched in between dark and brooding passages. Another violent delight from the dark vortex of immersive storytelling, it makes you wonder just how far Miruthran could go if they put their collective minds to it, for what this lacks in polish it makes up for in evil endeavour [7.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Survived The Blast
  2. At The Barricades
  3. Into The Abyss
  4. Land Of The Damned

Cult of the Dead” by Miruthan is out 26th April 2024 and is available over at bandcamp

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