Written by Alex Stojanovic
Cult Of Ogrukad - Verses Of Depravity
Away From Shore
Prince Of The Sewers
Markus Olsen - Vocals
Mads Smebakk - Guitars
Espen Mork - Bass
Ludvig Pedersen - Drums
Release Date: August 30, 2018
You can hear a few different vocal styles from Markus Olsen. It's during some of the blast beat sections where you can hear the vocal style of Glen Benton of Deicide and during the more groove-oriented sections where you hear the Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth, like on "Totalitarian Hymn" for example. The guitar work from Mads Smebakk is another standout element. The melodic lead section towards the end of "Erratic Soliloquy" is one of my favourite moments of the entire record, which includes the solos and the harmonized guitar melody. However, one thing I noticed is that the intro to "Cult Of Ogrukad - Verses Of Depravity" sounds almost identical to the lead section in the aforementioned song.
Amon Amarth obviously isn't the only influence found on this record, as you can hear some black metal influences as well. Vocally, Olsen also gives a nod to Piotr Wiwczarek of Vader. Speaking of which, the riff at the 1:04 mark in "The Wanderer" seems to give a nod to Vader's "Shadow Fear". That's the first thing that came into my head when I first heard it. Eluvian are far from an Amon Amarth clone, but that seems to be the biggest influence here, especially in the vocal department.
I've stated my current stance on gutteral vocals before, but I'll say it again. I love the style a lot, but when you look at the big picture, they can be pretty limiting, especially when they have a very linear flow in terms of tone. Even when you blend highs and lows to have a little more varied flow, they can also be limiting. Back when I was first getting into death metal, my love for gutteral vocals was massive, and while I'm still a fan of the style and always will be, my love for gutteral vocals is not as big as it used to be. Olsen does a great job of including highs and lows into his vocal flow in the songs, but I do wish that he included a few melodic vocals as well (not too much) because there were couple of riffs and sections in certain songs that I felt purely called for a melodic voice, but that's just me.
There's certainly variation throughout the album, which is always a plus in my book, but not as much as I hoped there would be. Plus, there's also not a whole lot of innovation, and some of the tracks lack memorability. Prophetic Flame a very by-the-numbers melodic death metal album. Don't expect to be surprised or blown away when you first hear it, but I'm sure that if you're a die-hard melodic death metal fan, you will surely enjoy this album. When it comes to releasing albums, it's more than alright to emulate your influences because you're still figuring out who you are, but by the time you start to make your second album, it's time to try and focus on finding an identity. Since this is only Eluvian's first album, they haven't found their own identity yet, but we'll see where they go from here. Guys, all the best with everything going forward and we wish you much success for the future.
Highs: Solid vocals and great guitar work.
Lows: Nothing original and not as much memorability.
Final Rating: 6.5/10