Needless - The Cosmic Cauldron

“The Cosmic Cauldron” is a new turning point for Hungary’s thrash death outfit Needless. Delving into a sci fi themed album the music supports the album with its rather grandiose and dramatic sound, especially in the solos. It is more progressive than their previous work and pushes the group’s boundaries more. Opening with the hard hitting ‘Warvoid A.D.’ this first track throws a bit of curveball as the music feels like it is on two different paces. The sound is very much rooted in death metal with the growls and snarls mixed with melodic thrash on the riffs and overall a rather tech death appeal to the track. It is very comparable to the likes of a group such as Sylosis. However, as the song closes with its rather dark/ progressive outro, one can tell that they are in for a fun ride. Other tracks like ‘Astrogate…’ add in some deep grated sci fi vocals to break up the rather fast thrash attack and ‘The Predation’ uses the riffing for almost a keyboard effect with more of a death metal approach that isn’t quite as thrash oriented with repetitive riffs, but still has tons of groove and solid solos along with excellent drumming. ‘Mournful Heavens’ slows things down a bit and while the formula is rather basic with its march and go pace on the riffs that seem to carry on, it is one of the most driving and memorable tracks on the album.

Things delve back towards thrash territory with the speed and ferocity of ‘Cosmic Cauldron’ but it is no less engaging despite lacking a very solid riff or the progressive elements heard on the other tracks. ‘The Prism Fortress’ trades ferocity for a mid paced thump again, but adds in clean vocals and more progressive approaches to keep listeners interested. ‘Chrononaut’ follows suite, but the biggest surprise and track is ‘Planet Obliivion’ which is a dynamic shift from the aggression of the band. Much like the soft progressive tracks of Rivers of Nihil, Needless throws in a huge surprise with a track full of clean female and male vocals, toning things down completely. It is a nice break from the heaviness and listeners will either love it or feel it is just filler, but compared to what Needless has done before this is a big risk that pays off to bring more versatility to the album. There is some growling here, but not much. Finally the album closes on the epic ‘Transgalatic.’ Needless has been known for their ability to do epic tracks, but this one clocks as their longest yet past 10 minutes. It is heavy, progressive, and despite the lulling piano to end things, the ferocity of the solos along with the guitar melodies make this a strong way to finish. If there was any doubt in the band’s ability to be heavy from the previous track, this one should shred all doubts.

Overall, this album is excellent. For anyone who is a fan of death metal, thrash, or even technical metal will find a lot appealing here. The progressive elements and guest vocal surprises keep listeners on their toes and the overall sci fi theme stands strong throughout the music. With new members and a new outlook Needless should be proud of what they’ve done here and fans new and old should be excited for the crushing ear assault they are about to hear with “The Cosmic Cauldron.”

4.5 / 5 STARS

1. Warvoid A.D.
2. Astrogate The Spectral Lane
3. The Predation
4. Mournful Heavens
5. The Cosmic Cauldron
6. Odium
7. The Prism Fortress
8. Chrononaut
9. Planet Oblivoin
10. Transgalactic