March 6th, 2020 / Soulseller Records
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine
Norwegian black metal with a twist! Tulus is one of those highly praised and respected bands of the Norwegian underground scene. The group initially formed in 1993, releasing three demos before unleashing a string of full-length albums in the late 90’s. As things seemed to be on the upward path for Tulus, the band went on hiatus while the members went on to form such acts as Khold and Sarke.
With much success of the two other acts born out of Tulus, Blodstrup and Sarke could not let Tulus disappear into obscurity. They have kept the band alive through the 2000s with a couple of what I have read to be ‘not so well’ received albums. Yet still, Tulus forges ahead with their latest album OLD OLD DEATH.
Tulus’s brand of black metal has always had a more melodic overtone to it. OLD OLD DEATH is much the same. One could even argue that the music and style of this latest album is not black metal at all. I might agree to a point. But the blackened aspect of the music is present. Like it or not, it is there.
I would go as far as describing the music here as a melodic blackened thrash and roll over any. There is nothing overly fast in terms of song speeds, which is okay. What we do find is a set of groove-laden riffs and a more rock ‘n roll feel than anything. The vocals carry a bit of the guttural drudge that fits just right within the music.
OLD OLD DEATH is a metal album that should be able to go a long way for Tulus. At least in terms of reaching a more diverse type of audience as this can not be placed in the Norwegian Black Metal category that many know to be a different beast all on its own. I will need to be going back for sone of their older releases. I have genuinely enjoyed OLD OLD DEATH.
Sarke – Drums
Blodstrup – Vocals, Guitars
Crowbel – Bass