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RIO/Avant-Prog • Ukraine

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Cthulhu Rise picture
Cthulhu Rise biography
A Ukrainian experimental rock combo CTHULHU RISE were formed in late 2000s under musical background of 70s rock, alternative rock, jazz, metal, or mathcore. Through recording several demo tracks, they've made significant alterations to their soundscape. Although they had played with a couple of vocalists in their early days, their playing style has been shifted to purely instrumental one since the end of 2009. Since Autumn 2010 they have recorded material for their debut album scrupulously, that finally saw the light upon June 29, 2012 as a CD / vinyl / downloadable MP3 titled "42" via Musea Records. Without any breath they have started recording for their second album.

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CTHULHU RISE discography

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CTHULHU RISE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 24 ratings
4.13 | 12 ratings
The Second One

CTHULHU RISE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CTHULHU RISE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CTHULHU RISE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CTHULHU RISE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 7 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Last by CTHULHU RISE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
3.31 | 7 ratings

Cthulhu Rise RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars The Ukranian band "Cthulu Rise" is an instrumental and experimental band that formed in the 2000s, however, after changing their original sound, they didn't release their first album until 2012, and their 2nd in 2016. It wasn't until January 2020 that the band reemerged with a 3 track EP that continues the long song cycle that tries to explain a fictional underwater signal transmitted from the ocean.

The whole premise revolves around a short story written by H.P Lovecraft called "The Call from Cthulu". Cthulu is buried and trapped inside of the sunken city of R'lyeh in the South Pacific. Lovecraft even gave the coordinates of the city which is 479′S 12643′W somewhere near what is actually known as the Pacific pole of inaccessibility (Nemo Point), a point in the ocean that is further away from any land mass in the Pacific. Interestingly enough, this location was not identified until after 66 years after the story was printed (cue the "Twilight Zone" theme). It is said that when the International Space Station passes overhead that it is often the closest that humans get to that point.

Anyway, back to this EP. The three tracks are named as the same format as the two previous albums: "Opus (#)". The band claims that this is the last of the recordings that strive to decipher the signal because they have all experienced so much suffering that they had to stop. So this EP is entitled "Last" supposedly because it will be the last time the band tries to experiment with it, not necessarily their last album.

So the question is, is the music as intriguing as the story around it?

Well, it sounds nothing like a transmitted radio signal, if that's what you are wondering. "Opus 43" (9:03) is quite upbeat with a complex meter and an eclectic, almost fusion sound. Keys and guitars lay down an almost tropical vibe, but in a repeating riff that follows the complex meter. The sections when the piano is the most prevelant is when the sound is more of a fusion style, but when the guitar dominates, it's more of a heavy prog sound. Somewhere in the 3rd minute, the tempo slows and evens out as a gruff sounding sax comes in. The complex pattern returns about a minute later and soon it veers away from the piano to a combination of organ and vibes and then an interesting effect with the synth. Just before 7 minutes, it takes a sudden left turn and introduces a chunky bass and a dissonant, noisy sax as the rhythm changes again.

"Opus 44" (6:37) goes for an even more progressive sound and once again introduces an up beat but complex rhythm with staccato notes played by the guitar which trades back and forth with organ or piano. Again, you get shades of fusion, but the complexity of it all keeps it progressive, and the mathcore sound keeps the sound veering off into the more avant prog territory. More dissonance and less accessibility gives this track more credence with the heavy art rock style.

"Opus 45" (7:59) starts with a leaner sound, but retaining a level of complexity. It is based around a theme that is a bit easier to pick out than the last track since it seems to be less noisy. Stop/start sections keep things in the progressive realm, this time not quite tipping the scales into the avant-prog style, but keeping it somewhere between heavy prog and fusion again, probably more in the eclectic genre. The complexity of the tracks can make it a little tough to listen to for too long of a time, but repeated listens will tend to help the listener distinguish between each track a bit better.

There is not doubt that the band is talented and they work together extremely well. They would have to in order to produce music this complex and not have it end up sounding messy and directionless. The combination of math core and fusion can wear you out quickly on the first few listens even with there only being the 3 tracks. There really isn't much in the way of a let up through the tracks. The music is great enough, but not the easiest to listen to for too long. It's well performed, but not diverse enough, or experimental enough to keep my interest. And it definitely doesn't fit the expectation generated from the title or the "concept". I have to give it 3 stars, but some might find it to be more enjoyable then that.

 The Second One by CTHULHU RISE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.13 | 12 ratings

The Second One
Cthulhu Rise RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Ukrainian band CTHULHU RISE first appeared on the scene with their debut album "42" in 2012, which was released by the French label Musea Records. They had been active for five years at this point, and the material on that album was already a couple of years old. "The Second One" is their sophomore effort, and consists of material developed from 2013 and onward. On this occasion the band decided to self-release the album.

Instrumental bands that explore avant-garde and metal combined into expressive, challenging endeavors aren't the kind of bands that will ever sell music by the truckload. There is an audience for such creations however, and that audience should find this album to be a most rewarding experience, I suspect. Especially those among them who don't mind the occasional inclusion of details that appears to have more of a classical music orientation.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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