Cthulu Wgah'nagl Fntag consists of five tracks, two of which are short instrumentals. The core compositions are a whirlwind of sound, hardened and tempered by primitive production that simply lets the carnage stink for itself. The end result is raw, speed-driven death metal with hints of thrash and of course black metal.
The exception is the track “Realm of Utummo,” which does retain the hardened vocals but instead taps into the genre of doom metal to create a heavy, somber sound that does battle with short spurts of speed. Of the tracks, this is the one I favored, as I love the slower metal stuff. However, tracks like “Naamtaar Kingu” will not disappoint fans of fast death metal, as these are designed to crush skulls.
The opening instrumental is okay, but it’s the title track that really captures the essence of Lovecraft. Creepy, cosmic, disturbing, and mindblowing, the title track consists of a series of voices and electronic effects that will tap into the minds of sensitive, who will realize that perhaps one day the stars will be right.
As evidenced by the EP title, Castleumbra are deep into Lovecraft. Lyrically, the band works hard to tap into the cosmic, forging its own contributions to the mythos while retaining the essence of what is Lovecraft. This is especially true of the track “The Flesh Beyond the Umbra,” which hints at something monstrous and evil yet uncannily seductive and relished coming through the void. It is at once seductive and repellant—the essence of Mr. Lovecraft’s best writings.
All this noise is courtesy of two men. The percussion is handled by Alejandro Franco (Proganator, Unicion, Warfield, and a few others) while Antimo Buonnano (Ravager, Disgorge, Hacavitz, and a few others) handles the guitars, bass, and vocals.
Reissued by Nuclear Winter Records in a run limited to 300 copies (catalog number NWR061), Castleumbra’s Cthulu Wgah'nagl Fntag is worth acquiring for fans of brutal blackened death metal and those into bands dedicated to Lovecraft. I personally cannot wait for Castleumbra’s full-length studio release, as it will demonstrate that “Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.”